Ash Palmisciano had "no role models" growing up as a transgender teenager.
The "Emmerdale" actor - who plays Matty Barton, who was previously known as Hannah Barton, the daughter of Moira Dingle (Natalie J. Robb) - is proud to be the ITV soap's first trans cast member as when he was growing up he had no one to relate to on television.
In a video posted on his Twitter account, Ash said: "I spent a long time when I growing up being really confused because there were no role models out there. There was no one to reference. As an actor it has been a great opportunity to work in such a high profile soap. To be able to play that out in a soap which reaches seven million a night is a dream come true.
"Sometimes it can be hard to go back to those awkward moments. But I'm past all that, I'm an actor. And Hopefully, it can help other people."
The 29-year-old actor posted video online because he was unable to attend a charity event last week where a panel had questions ready for him about his experiences as a trans person.
Ash revealed he has received messages from parents of transgender kids asking for his advice and help and he's happy to help those families on their journeys.
He said: "I've had parents message me that said, "Our son or daughter is transitioning. What does it mean to be doing this work?" It's absolutely massive. I feel the pressure to sort of tell an authentic story not just for the label but for their talent and who they are and what they do."