"Degrassi" first aired over 30 years ago. The show has dealt with many issues over the years. The end of Season 3 saw a bus crash leaving character Tristan in rehab and featured the suicide attempt of Maia. Season 4 is now addressing the issue of gender identity. Yael, played by Jamie Bloch, is the first character to identify as genderqueer in all of "Degrassi" history.

Yael questions her gender identity

Character Yael of "Degrassi" has been questioning her gender in Season 4 of the series. The beginning of Season 4 sees the character struggling with something she doesn't quite understand.

It is when she starts to use a binder and is approached by the school guidance counselor that Yael realizes she does not know who she is. She brings this to her friend Lola who introduces Yael to the possibility that she might be genderfluid.

Over the series, Yael begins to alter her outward appearance to match her true identity. She begins to dress differently and ditches her signature red wig. When Yael approaches her boyfriend with her new look he freaks out. Character Hunter, who has been dating Yael since last season, does not approve of this new Yael. He shows great ignorance about Yael accepting her new identity.

Hunter portrays the prejudice against people who identify as genderqueer

Yael had fears about coming out to her boyfriend.

When Yael began to realize that she liked having armpit hair and wearing a binder, her boyfriend was very confused. Initially, Hunter ignored her thinking that she was gay and didn't want to be with her anymore. This leads to Yael seeking advice from someone other than her boyfriend.

"Degrassi" does a very good job at dealing with the issues genderqueer people go through.

From being made fun of because of their choices to have body hair, to being rejected by their significant other, the series highlights the prejudicial attitudes suffered by people like Yael. The ignorance surrounding pronouns is also highlighted in the series. However, the show also shows Yael's friend supporting her in spite of what her ex-boyfriend thinks.

"Degrassi" executive producer Steven Stohn has stated that they wanted to explore an issue that had not featured on the show so far. He was inspired by the events in the transgender movement going on in America. This led him down the route to exploring gender. He also stated that any mistakes regarding misgendering are intentional and are there to teach the audience what it is like both for the individual and the people in their life.