“Once a Friend” (October 1, 1977)
Often cited as TV’s first sympathetic portrayal of a trans character, this episode of The Jeffersons introduces Edie Stokes as someone who, unlike other trans characters in earlier portrayals, is not at a point of crisis. She’s transitioned, she’s living the life she wants and she’s merely reaching out to her old Navy buddy to say hi — not to get his approval. Drew and Glen are joined by Marsha’s Plate host Diamond Stylz to discuss why this episode is not only good for when it aired but also better than many portrayals of trans characters who’d come in the years to follow.
Subscribe to Marsha’s Plate, Diamonds podcast that discusses topics relevant to the black trans community.
Make a donation to Black Trans Women Inc. or subscribe to the newsletter.
Listen to the episode of Alison Arngrim’s podcast where she interviews Veronica Redd, who played Edie.
Listen to the episode of Gender Reveal that features Diamond as a guest.
Also listen to the Trans Vagina Dialogues, a new TableCakes podcast hosted by Lindsey Deaton and featuring a weekly guest. Follow on Twitter, on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify.
Episode artwork by Ian O’Phelan.