The character was taken from real-life trans woman Hayley Anthony, who helped Jess Ting, the director of surgery at the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai, create a new procedure for vaginoplasty surgeries.
Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff told THR,
“[The surgery] revolutionizes the making of a vagina and we thought that was a really cool story and Candis is playing a character inspired by something we read.“
This season, out trans actor Alex Blue Davis — who plays intern Dr. Casey Parker — disclosed to Bailey (Chandra Wilson) that he was a “proud trans man” after helping to save the hospital from a hacker who threatened the lives of multiple patients. Davis told THR that he sees Casey’s story as unexplored territory on the small screen.
“What’s cool about the show, the episode and Krista’s vision for this character is he’s about way more than being trans. I cried at the table read, it was very moving for me. I’ve been waiting for a moment like this on TV my whole life. I am so honored I got to say that line on TV because it’s a long time coming.“
Cayne, who became the first trans actress to play a recurring trans character in primetime in 2007 on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money, has also appeared on Transparent, Heartbeat and Nip/Tuck.
Grey’s Anatomy is on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
(Photos, ABC; via THR)