Rachel Charlene Lewis
Updated September 14, 2016 2:54 pm
Chris Hollo/ABC via Getty Images

When we found out that Nashville was actually *not* being canceled, we were obviously yelling TG, because what’s better than a drama-filled country music binge-watch? Now that it’s making the move from ABC to CMT, some things are changing, but one big change is that there will be a few new characters (hooray!). While we’re obviously pumped to meet everyone, one new cast member in particular is making major waves, and that’s Jen Richards, who will be the first out trans person on CMT.

Like, woah. This is an important move!

Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images

The super-talented actress will play Allyson Del Lago, “a tough but understanding physical therapist who helps a series regular through one of their most difficult challenges.” She’s a recurring character, so we’ll be seeing a lot of her, and we’re so excited to get to know her in this new role.

Richards is SO excited, and we’re loving her already.

Like, how cute is that video?! The super talented creator of Emmy-nominated Her Story, and just an all-around super fun person, Richards is really re-vamping our love for the show and its cast.

Plus, it says a lot about the state of TV in a *good* way.

While visibility isn’t everything — despite increased visibility in the last year or so, last year was the deadliest year for trans people, and this year many, many trans women, especially of color, have been murdered — it is a step forward in terms of validation. If nothing else, it shows that mainstream media is getting a little bit better at recognizing the humanity of trans actors and actresses, and that’s really, really great news.

We can’t wait to watch Nashville again!

You’ll be able to get to know Richards a little better when the Nashville season premiere goes down on January 5th at 9 p.m. ET. We’re SO EXCITED!

Giphy / giphy.com