On Nov. 7, GENERAL HOSPITAL actress Cassandra James (Terry) took to social media to respond to an offensive transphobic tweet that had been shared by co-star Ingo Rademacher (Jax) in his Instagram Stories. “I am aware of a transphobic post shared by a fellow GH actor,” she tweeted. “Shame on you. You have some serious unlearning and education to do. I feel deeply disappointed that such a public display of ignorance could come from our GH family.
“Misgendering trans folks is violence and if you come for one of us, you come for all of us,” James continued. “The cis world doesn’t get to decide which of us is valuable. I am so proud of the fans for always holding us to a high standard, for calling out transphobia and violence.”
James, who is the first transgender actress to portray a transgender character on daytime television, explained why it is so important to call out this kind of behavior. “While trans people are subjected to physical violence every day, I spoke up to call out something more insidious,” she said. “Transphobic memes and ‘jokes’ perpetuate the myth that trans people are anything less than infinitely resilient and utterly brilliant.”
Rademacher immediately came under fire from GH fans and he offered up an apology for his post, which he also took down. But the soap and many of its other stars came out on social media to support James and the entire transgender community.
After revealing that Rademacher was no longer a member of the GH cast, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) added: “Transphobia and misgendering are disgusting and should be unacceptable in any industry, including soaps/acting. I stand with my co-star, Cassandra James, and the trans community.” Haley Pullos (Molly) wrote: “Really disappointing to see someone from my own GH family adamantly choosing to stand in hatred instead of love and acceptance. Trans women are women, period, the end. We fight for LGBTQ+ rights in this house.”
“As a member of the GH cast I want everyone in the trans community to know we love you and we support you,” declared Laura Wright (Carly). Maura West (Ava) added her own voice to the chorus. “I wholeheartedly support and stand by Cassandra James and the entire LGBTQ community,” she said. “I did yesterday. I will tomorrow. I will forever.”
“You are a class act,” Finola Hughes (Anna) tweeted to James, “as honest and sensitive in your acting as you are in dealing with life. So happy you are a part of the GH family.”
Touched by the outpouring of emotion, James responded: “I am so moved by the enormous amount of love and support I am seeing online from the fans and many members of the GH family. Thank you.”
For additional information and resources regarding this issue, please visit glaad.org/transgender.