Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club casts trans child as trans character in supportive storyline

Nine year-old Kai Shappley has a guest starring role in the new show for young people which has received rapturous reviews.

A little girl and her teenage babysitter have a tea party

New Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club has shown huge support for the LGBT+ community by including the storyline of a trans child in a new episode – and casting a young trans girl in the role.

Nine year-old Kai Shippley was cast in the Netflix show in role of a young trans child named Bailey. During the episode, Bailey opens up to her teenage baby-sitter MaryAnne that she is a little girl, despite what old clothes in her wardrobe might suggest.

MaryAnne asks her friend Dawn (whose father is gay) to explain what it means to be trans. Dawn elaborates, “It’s like this: Are you right-handed or left-handed?” When MaryAnne answers that she is right handed, Dawn continues, “And if someone tried to make you do everything with your left hand, it would be super-weird right? Well, that’s how Bailey feels. The same way that you know that you’re right-handed, Bailey knows she’s a girl. We all want our outsides to match our insides.”

The show has been unanimously praised, currently sitting at 100% on review aggregator site RottenTomatoes. To see such positive and supportive representation of trans people in a show aimed towards younger viewers is particularly refreshing in light of the recent attacks on trans people by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

In her own real-life battle against a lack of understanding, when the actress, Kai, was much younger, her mother had lobbied a Texas district school board to allow her to use the girls’ bathroom. When the family were unsuccessful, they moved to a different district, so Kai’s mother’s excitement over the positive impact her daughter’s appearance has made is understandable.

Kimberly Shappley shared, “Kai has a teenie-tiny part in a guest starring role in BabySittersClubNetflix but it’s creating a huge impact. Obviously people want more of this! Trans people playing trans roles!”

Bailey’s family have hinted there may even be some more acting roles on the horizon for the young actress. The Baby-Sitters Club is currently streaming on Netflix.

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