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Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney confirms her Doctor Who character is trans

In her Trans Pride speech, the actress also called out Boris Johnson

By Emily Maskell

Yasmin Finney Doctor Who
Yasmin Finney has joined the cast of Doctor Who (Image: Supplied)

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Yellow Belly

Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney revealed that the new Doctor Who companion she plays, Rose, is a trans woman during her speech at London Trans+ Pride.

Rose will be one of the only trans characters in Doctor Who’s extensive, decades-long history after starring as trans character Elle Argent in Netflix’s beloved Heartstopper.

Speaking at London’s Trans+ Pride March on Saturday (9 July), the 18-year-old actress addressed the crowd of over 20,000 people in an impassioned speech.

Finney spoke about the importance of being visible as a trans woman on-screen and directly called out soon-to-be-former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his transphobic perspectives.

Finney began her speech: “I love you all so much. This is my first London Trans Pride. I feel so connected to my community more than ever, and if the government is trying to eradicate us.”

“Having this representation on screen has made me realise how impactful it is,” she continued.

The Heartstopper actress highlighted the impact of the Netflix show and revealed some information about her Doctor Who character that has otherwise been shrouded in mystery. 

“And how many of you have seen Doctor Who? Yeah, so that’s also a moment, and that’s another show where my character is trans.”

“So Boris, I hope you watch Heartstopper, I hope you see Doctor Who because I exist, and I know you know I exist,” she exclaimed. “We all exist, and we’re not going anywhere! Period.”

Towards the end of her speech, the actress went on to name historic trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson and thank the community for paving the way.

She concluded: “I hope that I open more doors for every single person here. If you want to be an actor, if you want to be a director, if you want to be a producer, you can do it, period.”

Finney will be starring opposite Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa who is taking over the role of the titular Time Lord from current Doctor, Jodie Whittaker.

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A post shared by Russell T Davies (@russelltdavies63)

About her casting announcement, showrunner Russell T Davies wrote: “Life on Doctor Who gets brighter and wilder, how can there be another Rose? You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the Doctor Who set.

“We all fell in love with her in Heartstopper, one of those shows which changes the world – and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse!”

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.