- Sam BagnallCreative Director of BBC Current Affairs Television
- John ConroyProducer
- Tony HallDirector-General of the BBC
- Anne BulfordDeputy Director-General of the BBC
'Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?' should not be broadcast until reviewed by experts
Pictured: 12 year old Evan Singleton, who has identified as a boy for the past five years. Copyright Andy Jacobsohn / Dallas News.
The documentary has now been aired, and we were unsuccessful in our attempt to get it independently reviewed by an expert. However, please continue to sign as to show your support; we are still in discussion about the matter with the BBC and its regulatory bodies. Your signature can still make a difference. Thank you.
The BBC is set to broadcast a documentary on BBC Two on the 12th January 2017 at 9pm called 'Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?'. The documentary is based on the controversial views of Dr. Kenneth Zucker, who believes that Gender Dysphoria in children should be treated as a mental health issue.
In simpler terms, Dr. Zucker thinks that being/querying being Transgender as a child is not valid, and should be classed as a mental health issue.
The BBC present him as an "expert" in this field; in reality, he was fired from his role as head of CAMH's (also known as CAMHS in the UK) Gender Identity Clinic, and the clinic shut down after an external review was conducted into Dr. Zucker's methods.
Dr. Zucker has treated over 500 prepubescent gender-variant youth since the mid 70's, and his practices are aimed at attempting to 'repair' the 'biological' gender of children, by employing techniques such as telling parents to discard of 'feminine toys'.
Remember, this man was the head of the Gender Identity Clinic. And according to a 2011 report from TRANS Pulse, 77% of transgender Ontarians have seriously considered suicide, and 43% have attempted it.
In April 2014, new laws were put in place by the Ontarian Humans Rights Commission to protect transgender rights. The bill made his practices illegal.
This man is no expert and should not be treated as one.
To clarify, this petition is not to stop this program for being broadcast entirely; however no transgender experts in the UK have watched over this program, which potentially may have a transphobic undertone. We simply don't know what to expect from the program, however from his history and the synopsis available online, we can make an educated guess that it won't be in support of Transgender Rights for Children.
Honestly, I don't know if the producers at the BBC know how much damage this program could do.
In recent years we have made massive strides in transgender rights, social acceptance of transgender people in society, and levels of discrimination and prejudice against transgender people are lowering. But this program endangers some of the progress we have made.
I have no issue with Dr. Zucker having an opinion. But I do have an issue when that opinion is being spread on primetime national television to potentially millions of viewers, with no vetting from transgender experts confirming that it does not promote transphobic views.
Ultimately, this TV show could spark a trail of prejudice; belittling transgender children, leading to them not being socially accepted by society. To me, that is too big of a risk to take.
We know that this is meant to be a "challenging documentary", and we are not attempting to censor an opinion or block a civil debate from occurring. We just want to have the documentary independently reviewed by an expert before it is aired, to make sure there will be no damaging knock-on affects as a result.
There are five days left until this program is broadcast.
In that time, genuine independent experts in this field could overlook and review the documentary for broadcast on television.
I do not think that is much to ask of a corporation like the BBC.
Please sign this petition to ensure this program will not have negative effects on today's transgender youth. Thank you.
Update: For Clarification, the experts we are looking at reviewing the footage are Dr Polly Carmichael, Dr Stuart Lorimer and Dr Christina Richards.
- Creative Director of BBC Current Affairs Television
- Director-General of the BBC
- Deputy Director-General of the BBC
I ask that 'Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?', which is due to be broadcast on BBC Two on the 12th January 2017 at 9pm, is not broadcast until an independent transgender expert has vetted the documentary to ensure that it does not promote a transphobic rhetoric, and will not have any damaging knock-on effects as a result of it airing.
I am not trying to block a civil debate or censor opinion, I just want to ensure that no negative effects will come as a result of its broadcast on primetime national television.
Lucas Johnston started this petition with a single signature, and now has 11,631 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.