Emmerdale star Ash Palmisciano has revealed a message sent by a transgender fan and is "happy" that his character Matty can help.
Ash, who joined Emmerdale last year as Matty Barton, has shared a picture on his Instagram of a message sent by a follower.
The young fan said: "Heyo I've recently came out as trans to everyone at school and today one boy comes up to me and goes 'oh your like the guy from emmerdale right?' [sic].
Ash, who is also transgender, captioned the post "Thats right I got you!! Only a few people in the world happen to be Trans I think only 1 percent! So it's really hard explaining it when your growing up Especially with little help out there.
"It Can feel a bit scary at times but Just Know there's nothing more 'normal' than being yourself!
Sorry I can't always reply but know I'm proud of you guys being brave enough to be you at school and happy the character helps make those awkward conversations a bit easier!
"Sorry I can't always reply but know I'm proud of you guys being brave enough to be you at school and happy the character helps make those awkward conversations abit easier!
"Be you cause life's really to short #pridemonth #mattybarton #emmerdale #itv #transgender #beingyou" [sic].
Whilst Ash was new to Emmerdale when he joined last year, his character was recast with Ash taking over the role from Grace Cassidy.
Matty was born a female named Hannah to John and Moira Barton. Hannah was on screen from 2009-2012 before leaving to go and live in London.
Last year Matty snuck onto Butlers farm to retrieve his birth certificate which he needed to legally change his gender, but was caught by stepdad Cain who mistook him for an intruder.
However, as soon as Moira walked in, she recognised her child.
Matty recently underwent top surgery in the next stage of his transition.
Last year, Ash revealed the surprising way he won the part of Matty Barton.
Appearing on Lorraine, he explained: "It is crazy. There's an amazing charity called All About Trans. They work with positive representations in the media of trans people.
"They said to me, 'We're doing interaction with Emmerdale, they're thinking about doing this storyline, they're looking for some advice on positive reps'. They said, 'Do you want to come?' And I said, 'Sure, cheeky day out!'
"I went along, and the next thing they said, 'Do you want to audition?' Being an actor, I said, 'Of course!' And, here I am."
Emmerdale is on Monday to Friday at 7pm with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursday on ITV.
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