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Children’s channel CBBC to broadcast film about transgender boy

Nick Duffy November 12, 2014

CBBC will broadcast a feature about a transgender boy next week for the first time ever.

I Am Leo, which will air next Monday afternoon as part of the channel’s anti-bullying week, and is targeted at the channel’s audience of 6 to 12 year olds,

Leo, now aged 13, was born female but has lived as a boy since the age of 5, and legally changed his name when he was 11.

Kez Margrie, who heads the My Life strand on the channel, told the BBC’s in-house magazine Ariel: “I had wanted to do a story on a transgender child for a while, because I know there are kids out there having a tough time. But up to now, we hadn’t found the right story to tell, and we trusted [production company] Nine Lives Media to tell this one sensitively.”

The short film follows Leo as he goes about his daily life, and meets with friend Kai, 20-year-old trans woman Natalie, and Stephen Whittle of advocacy group Press for Change.

Kez Margrie added: “It feels very much like his journey and story, as told by him

‘It’s not about the science or the medicine, it is fundamentally about identity and passion – about a boy taking a stand, saying ‘This is who I am’.

“He has an identity that others find tricky to accept. That’s a pretty universal story.”

Nine Lives exec Cat Lewis added: “The great thing about making documentaries like this for children is that they’re not born with prejudices.

“There is a risk that the BBC will be criticised for commissioning this film, but it’s important that CBBC has been so supportive of it.”

The British National Party previously claimed that the broadcaster wanted to show gay porn on CBeebies.

My Life: I am Leo will air on CBBC at 6pm, on Monday November 17.

More: BBC, boy, broadcaster, CBBC, Children, England, Television, Trans, Transgender

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