We spoke to Louisa Compton, Editor of Victoria Derbyshire on BBC 2, BBC News Channel and online to find out more about this fascinating interactive interview.
Can you tell us about Transgender?
In an incredibly rare interview, Victoria Derbyshire speaks to two young transgender children, to get an insight into what their lives are like and what help and support is available for other children in their position. Jessica, who’s 8, and Lily, who’s 6, explain - in their own words - what it’s like to feel they’ve been born in the wrong body. Their parents discuss their reaction and offer support to other people in similar situations.
Speaking to these children, who are so young yet incredibly articulate, gives a real sense of how some children can identify as transgender from an incredibly young age.
With such a very sensitive subject, what approach did you take?
It was important to speak to Lily and Jessica to understand the issues transgender children face. And it was incredibly important to do so responsibly. Before recording the interview we ensured we had full permission not just from their parents, but also from their school and the charity which has been offering them support.
All of whom told us they thought it would be positive for the children to be interviewed. The clinic which was treating them raised no objections and, additionally, we asked an educational psychologist to carry out an assessment on both Jessica and Lily.
The psychologist felt there was no reason why they couldn’t be interviewed. We’ve also put in place a support plan for the family and children for after transmission of the interview. We intend to keep in contact with Lily and Jessica after broadcast and report on their progress over the next few years.
Why create an interactive interview?
A 15 minute version of the interviews is being broadcast on Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC TV programme on April 7th. The interviews will also live online on the BBC News website and YouTube channel.
Additionally, we wanted to give the audience an element of control – so they could ask the children questions in the order they wanted. It also includes some additional material that didn’t make it into the final film. Jessica and Lily’s parents were also keen to offer advice to other parents – which is why we added the support section.