A new programme aimed at children has come in for criticism about its transgender storyline.
The show, on Children’s BBC (CBBC) online is called Just A Girl and is targeted at children aged in the six to 12 bracket.
However, many parents have slammed the show as inappropriate because of the transgender issues it highlights, and MPs have gone further by demanding that the BBC takes it down.
Just a Girl follows lead character, 11-year-old Amy, a transgender child going through the process necessary to become a girl.
Mothers have been discussing the show on parents’ forum Mumsnet.
In the half-hour show Amy introduces herself by explaining that she was born a boy called Ben.
She explains: “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.”
The character says that her Mum supported her when she stood in front of her class at school and said that she would be coming in dressed in girls’ clothes in future, as Amy.
However, angry parents have reacted by saying that the target age group for such a show is too young.
Campaigners, meanwhile say Just a Girl could “sow the seeds of confusion in children’s minds.”
Mums said they feared that such a show could normalise such a drastic move.
One parent said: “I don’t think this is remotely suitable for a seven-year-old. To start suggesting that children can be transgender when they’re far too young to actually have a gender is reckless and damaging.”
Conservative MP Peter Bone, who represents Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, has demanded that the BBC take the show off its website.
He said it “beggared belief” that the programme was being broadcast for such a young set of viewers, adding: “I entirely share the anger of parents who want to let children be children. It’s 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.”
Meanwhile, Family Education Trust director Norman Wells described it as “irresponsible” for 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.”
The BBC is yet to comment on the controversy.