Non-binary star seeking dignity for audience after Hollyoaks

Former Hollyoaks star Ki Griffin, who played the show’s first non-binary character Ripley Lennox, has spoken out about their experience working on projects after departing the Channel 4 soap.

Ripley left the village in July 2022, to begin working with homeless transgender teenagers.

Since then, Ki has gone on to star in an immersive short film titled Kindred, which tells the true story of Syd, the first non-binary person to have successfully adopted a child in the UK.

Ki has praised the working environment on Kindred, which featured a creative team made up of transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people.

‘As much as I love the work I did on Hollyoaks, I think as a person who makes things, I’ve always been more interested in making art and media that is niche and does serve its audience with grace and intellect and dignity,’ Ki told PinkNews.

‘This was definitely a step in the right direction career-wise for me. I’m more interested in making media and being a part of projects that really mean something to people.’

Hollyoaks has been a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ characters and actors, and was the first soap to cast a transgender woman as a trans character.

‘I think we’re definitely moving in the right direction,’ Ki explained. ‘There is so much more opportunity for trans and non-binary people, there is so much more space for them to play meaningful characters that aren’t simply tokens, and that is wonderful.’

However, Ki would like to see more work done behind the scenes to encourage trans, non-binary and gender diverse people to take up roles within the crew.

‘We need to make sure the people behind the scenes, the crew – and when I’m talking crew I’m not just talking your director, your assistant director, I’m talking your boom operator – why aren’t they trans when we’re working on a huge trans story?

‘It’s really important that behind the scenes of media-making reflects what’s on the screen as much as possible because making those authentic working environments does make better media.’

Ripley rocked up in Hollyoaks back in June 2020, when they launched a stall in Cunningham’s Grande Bazaar. 

The character later told friends Ollie Morgan (Gabriel Clark), Imran Maalik (Ijaz Rana), and Brooke Hathaway (Tylan Grant) that they are non-binary in powerful scenes. 

‘It’s wonderful to have that positive representation for non-binary people,’ said Ki, at the time.

‘Because we never see it, and it is so beautiful to be able to step in to the shoes of Ripley and be able to be like, guys look, a non-binary character played by a non-binary human.’

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