Children’s channel CBBC to broadcast film about transgender boy
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.”
My Life: I am Leo will air on CBBC at 6pm, on Monday November 17.