There should be no age limit on being yourself
Claire Dickie is enraged by comments criticising CBBC series, Just A Girl.
When are you old enough to question your gender? Who gets to decide the age we must all reach before we can be ourselves? These are just some of the questions rattling around in my brain upon reading about the "outrage" amongst some parents regarding the CBBC web-series Just A Girl.
The show is about an 11-year-old transgender girl who comes out and learns how to deal with friendships, bullying and discovering your true self. The show takes the form of young Amy's diary as she discusses her worries about moving to high school.
When I first heard about the show, I was excited! Finally, a show that represents young transgender people and their worries! But I did a little digging, and as often happens when the LGBT community are given a voice, some people were not happy.
Parenting website Mumsnet was awash with negative comments about the show. "To start suggesting that little children can be transgender when they're far too young to actually have a gender is reckless and damaging," one read. Tory MP Peter Bone also called for the show to be taken down from the website. He told Daily Mail: "I entirely share the anger of parents who want to let children be children." Family campaigner Norman Wells said: "It is irresponsible of the BBC to introduce impressionable children as young as six to the idea that they can choose to be something other than their biological sex."
Reading comments like these enraged me. But despite all the negativity, the BBC has defended its show saying that: "CBBC aims to reflect true life, providing content that mirrors the lives of as many UK children as possible." So it's not all doom and gloom really - the show appears to be staying, sending a powerful message to those who oppose it.
I fully support the BBC for this programme as many transgender people spend their childhood completely unaware that they're not alone. The existence of LGBT people should not be age-rated. Being transgender is not a bad thing; children can see that so why can't all these angry parents? What are they scared of?
There is nothing inappropriate about having a transgender actor star in a show and showing their struggles, no matter who the audience is. I feel that as long as the show broadcasts a positive storyline then it really can't do much harm to children.
There is no age limit to discovering who you are. Whether you're five or 105, your identity is valid and you deserve support. This is a massive step for achieving true equality for the whole of the LGBT community and soon enough, having transgender actors will be nothing but normal, as it should be.
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