Married at First Sight UK viewers have fallen in love with “sweet” and “brave” Ella Morgan Clark, the first transgender star in the show’s history.
The series, which follows hopeful singletons matched by experts based on compatibility, made its much-anticipated return to TV on Monday, (18 September).
The first time any of the matched couples meet is at the altar, with the series then following their early life as newlyweds.
Fans immediately warmed to self-proclaimed blonde bombshell Ella, praising her for her “bravery” and for coming across as “lovely” and looking “absolutely stunning”.
One person wrote on social media: “Ella being on a show like this is mad brave, given the current political climate. We are going to have to stan, I’m afraid.”
While transgender representation on-screen is growing in the UK, with Heartstopper and Doctor Who actress Yasmin Finney leading a generation of new stars, Britain’s anti-trans rhetoric is intensifying.
“Ella seems so sweet,” said another viewer. “Everybody in this world deserves love. Everybody. If you don’t have space in your heart for that, keep it to yourself maybe. This takes bravery.”
A third fan wrote: “Ella looks amazing, what a brave woman,” while a fourth added: “Ella is such a sweetheart.”
Episode one saw all the brides and their suitors introduced to the public, while the first few couples were matched up. Ella is still waiting to find out who she will be paired with.
The 29-year-old clinic consultant from Weston-super-Mare, in the south west of England, will meet her partner in the coming episodes.
Speaking to BBC’s Newsbeat, Ella said: “Because it was the first time Channel 4 had ever done something like this, I agreed that once they’d found me a match, my husband was made aware that I was trans, prior to the wedding.”
“He was aware that I was trans and I had transitioned but he didn’t know anything else about me.”
Channel 4 added that the groom was aware to ensure “fully informed consent”, and that he was happy to continue ahead with the wedding.
While many social media users flocked to share their love of Ella and her bubbly personality, there were some trolls who felt the need to spout anti-trans vitriol about her inclusion.
However, Ella said the support has well outweighed the miserable comments.
“The biggest thing for me is, I expected to get support, but I didn’t expect to get as much as I have from random strangers and people I don’t know. It feels amazing that I’m not being ridiculed,” she told Digital Spy.
“I mean, I am being a bit ridiculed online, and being called ‘a man’ and stuff. But I was expecting to get that. It’s probably been one of the best weeks of my life. This year has turned out to be amazing.”
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