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Daily Mail outraged over informative transgender show for children

Meka Beresford October 30, 2016

The Mail on Sunday have attacked a CBBC show about a transgender child.

The CBBC show, Just A Girl, follows 11-year-old Amy on her journey to get hormone control and begin her transition.

The show is fictional and Amy is not a real person, but it is based on true facts.

The Mail have claimed that parents are angry about the show ‘sowing the seeds of confusion’ into young viewers minds.

They reported that on the forum Mumsnet, parents wrote that they were ‘upset’ over the idea of gender being introduced to their child at a young age.

The Mail presented an array of negative comments from former MP’s, child psychotherapists and family campaigners, including Tory MP Peter Bone.

Bone said: “It beggars belief that the BBC is making this programme freely available to children as young as six. I entirely share the anger of parents who just want to let children be children.

“It is completely inappropriate for such material to be on the CBBC website and I shall be writing to BBC bosses to demand they take it down as soon as possible.”

The attack comes in a series of negative articles surrounding transgender children this month.

A seven-year-old was been removed from his mother’s care because ‘she was raising him as female’. However it later came out that transgender support charity Mermaids was supporting the mother and child through their gender dysphoria.

Mermaids also came under fire yesterday by the Mail because they allegedly ‘bullied’ a school and social services into allowing a child to present as female.

Mermaids CEO Susie Green told PinkNews: “Mermaids is horrified at the attack on the CBBC show Just a Girl. The writer worked extensively with families and young people to get a full understanding of the issues that children and their families face when dealing with gender varience, and has produced a wonderfully warm and empathic piece that educates and raises understanding.

“Maybe if more were known about trans issues then we would see a reduction in the hatred and prejudice that the trans community face, and start to celebrate difference and the fact that everyone has a right to live their life without fear just for being who they are.”

The fictional diary is aimed at children between the age of 6 and 12. The show positively explores topics of hormone blockers, being accepted in school, and having crushes as a transgender person.

In Just A Girl, Amy said: “When I was born, Mum said Dad was so pleased that he had a boy to take to the football. But Mum knew I was different. She realised early on that I was born in the wrong body.

“My Mum supported me when I did a PowerPoint presentation to my class about transitioning and that I wasn’t going to come to school in boys’ clothes any more, but girls’ clothes. I wasn’t Ben, I was Amy.”

Some parents thought the show was educational. One wrote: “I don’t believe there is ‘too young’ for stuff like this. The earlier you teach your children that everyone is different and that nobody is ‘normal’ the better.”

Dr Polly Carmichael, a clinical psychologist specialising in transgender children, said: “Raising awareness of these issues is the best way to challenge stigma and discrimination associated with identity issues. Programmes like Just A Girl can contribute to a healthy and informed public discussion.”

The BBC said it was aiming to ‘reflect true life’ with enough context for young people to understand

A spokesperson said: “Just A Girl is about a fictional transgender character trying to make sense of the world, deal with bullying and work out how to keep her friends, which are universal themes that many children relate to, and which has had a positive response from our audience. CBBC aims to reflect true life, providing content that mirrors the lives of as many UK children as possible.”

More: CBBC, children's show, LGBT, Transgender, transgender children

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