ABC’s ‘The Good Doctor’ Brings Affirming Portrayal of LGBTQ Community

From transgender pregnancy and trans teens to Noah Galvin’s Dr. Asher Wolke, ABC’s ‘The Good Doctor’ brings positive LGBTQ representation to prime-time television. (Photo Credit: Screenshots from videos via ABC Official YouTube Channel)

In this age of streaming television, there is not a shortage of shows to binge. The challenge is finding a show that resonates with the audience and has staying power.  It even becomes more of a challenge to find a show that has positive representation of the LGBTQ community without turning characters that are LGBTQ into token characters.  One show that has done a great job with this criteria is ABC’s The Good Doctor.

First premiering in September 2017, The Good Doctor is described by ABC as “A surgeon with autism and savant syndrome uses his extraordinary gifts to save lives and challenge skepticism.”  Playing the main character Dr. Shaun Murphy is Freddie Highmore, who started out as a child actor in such films as Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and as an adult was the star of A & E show Bates Motel. Other actors in the series include Hill Harper (CSI: NY, Covert Affairs, Homeland), Richard Schiff (The West Wing), Christina Chang (Rizzoli & Isles, CSI: Miami, 24) Paige Spara (Kevin at Work), Fiona Gubelmann(Daytime Divas), and Will Yun Lee (Hawaii Five-0).

In the first season, The Good Doctor had an episode focusing on a transgender teenage girl with testicular cancer.

An episode in season four focuses on a transgender gay man who finds out he is pregnant. 

Through both episodes aforementioned, Highmore’s Dr. Murphy doesn’t comprehend certain aspects concerning trans issues, yet he develops an understanding of the issues facing his patients. Trans actor Emmett Preciado, who played the pregnant trans man, Rio Gutierrez, explained to Forbes his experience in playing the character:

“I was very grateful to get this role just because the narrative just felt so important to me. And honestly, I related to this character so much. I felt like they were honestly writing about me. And I was like, how do they know all of this stuff? So I thought it was perfect.”

Also in season four, The Good Doctor brought on openly gay actor Noah Galvin, best known for The Real O’Neals and taking over the title role in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway from Ben Platt (who is also Galvin’s boyfriend), to play the recurring character Dr. Asher Wolke.  Galvin’s character is a former Hasidic Jew who has left his religious community due to being gay.  As the fourth season progresses, Galvin’s Dr. Wolke is developed more. 

Galvin’s role on The Good Doctor goes from recurring to series regular in the show’s fifth season and starts dating a nurse from the hospital.

During season five, Dr. Wolke tells a patient how he came out.

Galvin also does a shirtless scene with fellow castmate Will Yun Lee.

The Good Doctor is currently in its sixth season airing on ABC Monday nights with seasons 1-4 available for streaming on Hulu. Are you watching The Good Doctor? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts.


Sources: ABC, IMDb, Forbes, TVLine, ABC Official YouTube Channel

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