Isaiah Stannard is a young transgender actor, best known for his role in the NBC show “Good Girls.” He was born a female yet transitioned at a very young age, and the storyline of his character ‘Ben Marks’ is similar to his coming out journey.
Born in New York, USA on 1 October 2004, Isaiah Stannard was assigned female at birth but made the decision to transition to male in 2016. His parents are Eric Stannard and Kristin Johansen – Eric is a senior editor at Springer Publishing, and Kristin is an actress and a singer.
Although it’s unclear whether Isaiah’s parents have formally filed for divorce, they have split, and his mother is currently seeing Warren Marsh, who is known to be a professional trainer and massage therapist. Before his casting in “Good Girls,” Isaiah attended a performing arts school where he took part in many plays and performances. During film showings, he would attend school on set along with his fellow young castmates.
In a recent interview, Isaiah’s mother stated that he came out as gay to his parents at the young age of 11, prior to then coming out as transgender.
At the time his father was very ill, and Isaiah made the decision to tell his parents about his queerness in case his father passed away; both his parents were very supportive and accepting. A year later, Isaiah revealed to his parents that he was also transgender, and wanted to transition from female to male. His mother wasn’t surprised at all, since she’d noticed his behavior from when he was a little kid. Even when people would tell her when a child that Isaiah may be trans, she would always say, ‘hey, let’s let Isaiah tell us.’
Growing up in such a positive and supportive environment really helped the actor accept his authentic self. His biological parents were ready to learn and be open, along with his mother’s new partner Warren. The students, teachers and administration at his performing arts school also supported his changing identity and pronouns. Although Isaiah is very open about his queerness, it’s unknown whether he’s undergone any gender-affirming surgery.
At the beginning of this journey into his new identity, Isaiah felt that he needed to conform to the stereotypical masculine ideals to be accepted as male.
Recently, he has become more fluid with gender expression, and is now comfortable dressing more feminine, painting his nails, and wearing high heels. He credits this to the character “Jules” in the HBO show “Euphoria” portrayed by Hunter Schafer, saying that it encouraged him to ignore the boundaries of gender expression. Hunter Schafer is also transgender (male to female), and so is her character “Jules.” Isaiah and his mother Kristin love to partake in activities that explore his identity together. They get dressed up and go to the Pride Parade in New York, learn about queer history, and watch documentaries together.
Isaiah knows that not all transgender children are lucky enough to have accepting parents, so he appreciates everything his mother does for him. Kristen also works with the New York Ackerman Institute, which supports queer children. She runs an active Instagram account on which she frequently posts in support of the LGBTQ community. Kristen has stated that she’s always getting messages from children all around the world who seek the support they don’t receive from their own parents, and she tries to help by reaching out.
Isaiah is currently 17 years old, so his acting career is in its early stages.
He has played small roles in the movies “Brad’s Status” and “Party Dress,” both released in 2017, but his breakout role which he’s gained recognition for is in the NBC show “Good Girls .”The actor says that his agent was the one who reached out for the role; he auditioned and was immediately called to film the pilot without a call-back audition.
In the show “Good Girls,” Isaiah was originally cast as a female-presenting character named Sadie Marks. By the time the filming of the show began, the actor had started his gender transition journey, and the director decided to incorporate this into the character’s storyline as well.
When asked about the character, the creator of the show, Jenna Bans told Variety, ‘We realized we had a really great opportunity to tell a story about a character who was gender non-conforming, but at the same time not necessarily have that be what leads the story.’ This is how the character originally named Sadie Marks became ‘Ben Marks.’ The show gained recognition for the portrayal of a gender non-conforming person who isn’t in crisis and has supportive parents, which mirrors the actor’s real-life journey. Isaiah has stated that the directors and writers always asked him for input from his experiences to make the character feel authentic. The entire cast and crew always provided him with a supportive environment, and they all seem to have genuine relationships both on and off-screen. Unfortunately, due to scheduling and financial issues, the show was canceled after the release of its fourth season.
Future in Acting
In an interview with “The Dev Show,” Isaiah says that he isn’t sure if he will always be acting, but knows that he loves working on a set. This is understandable, as he started acting at such a young age, and many child actors choose to pursue other careers later in their lives. As of 2020, he’s not working on any new projects, apparently just waiting to see what life brings next.
Net Worth and Socials
There isn’t much information on Isaiah Stannard’s financials, but he is estimated to have a net worth of $50 000 as of early 2022. Most of his income has been earned from working on the show “Good Girls .”
The actor has a verified account on Instagram with many followers, on which he posts about his day-to-day life.