Jackson Millarker, an 8-year-old actor, has joined the cast of the hit ABC sitcom.
Millarker, who has been described as “television’s first openly transgender child actor, will appear in the episode called A Stereotypical Day and will air in the US on 28 September.
The show is a popular hit for ABC with 22 Emmy wins and has previously drawn praise for its portrayal of same-sex relationships.
“This is Jackson Millarker. He’s 8 years old, from Atlanta, and just happens to be transgender,” wrote the episode’s director Ryan Case on Instagram. “He plays Lily’s friend Tom in this week’s Modern Family and he’s wonderful. One of the many reasons I love being a part of this show.”
It has not been confirmed whether Millarker will be making any further appearances on the show, but his casting follows a number of calls for greater representation of transgender people in TV and on film.
Only last week, Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor used his Emmy acceptance speech for best actor in a comedy series to urge Hollywood to hire more transgender actors.
“I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television,” he said. “We have work to do.”