CBS' "The Bold and The Beautiful" continues groundbreaking transgender storyline

This year, CBS' The Bold & the Beautiful introduced a new storyline centering around Maya Avant and her life as a transgender woman dating Rick Forrester, the head of Forrester Creations, and her career as the lead model for the fashion company. Maya, an established character on the show since 2013 played by actress Karla Mosley, was revealed to be transgender in March by her sister. Maya later disclosed that she is a transgender woman to her boyfriend, Rick, in May. Meanwhile, Bill Spencer, media tycoon and tabloid publisher, was simultaneously outing Maya as a transgender woman to the world and treating her relationship with Rick as a scandal.

Rick was suprised when Maya disclosed her transgender status to him, and he was not happy that others knew before he did, but his love for Maya never wavered. Initially Maya resigned from the company and broke up with Rick when the tabloid story broke. But Rick campaigned hard to win Maya back, and the company asked her to return as lead model once they realized that the public was outraged at the way Maya had been treated by Bill Spencer.

Some characters, particularly Bill Spencer, tried to shame Rick for being in love with a transgender woman. The shaming of trans women and the men that date them is an issue that has been gaining attention in recent media. Writer and trans advocate, Janet Mock, recently discussed the general topic on her MSNBC live streaming show So POPular!, saying, "People's bodies, their attractions, and their sexualities, should not be policed or shamed. There are many kinds of women, as there are many kinds of men who desire many kinds of women. And, guess what? Trans women are among these women who are desired, and there is nothing shameful, laughable, or headline-worthy about that."

Maya's storyline is one of the few serious major media representations of a trans woman dating a non-transgender man, treating them as an actual relationship instead of as a punchline.

Also in recent epsiodes, Maya has been dealing with her parents, particularly her father, Julius, and his coming to terms with the fact that Maya is transgender. Her parents flew out to Los Angeles on a mission to bring back Maya's little sister, Nicole, so that she is not, in her father's mind, "under the influence of Maya." Although he tells Maya that he will try to accept her as his daughter, in reality he is unsure if he can due to his conservative beliefs.

Maya's storyline will continue this week on Thursday and Friday, and the episodes will include a fashion show featuring Maya and real-life out transgender models, Isis King and Carmen Carrera. The show also includes transgender actor, Scott Turner Schofield, playing the recurring role of Nick, a transgender man and Maya's friend.

The Bold and the Beautiful premiered in 1987 on CBS and has won 73 Daytime Emmy Awards, including three wins for Outstanding Drama Series. The show airs on over 100 countries and reaches 35 million people daily around the world.