any viewers who watched the finale of ITV’s drama Butterflylast Sunday were left in tears when transgender child Maxine, 12, was finally able to take the hormone blockers necessary for her to begin the transition from natal boy to girl.
The show, starring Callum Booth-Ford as Maxine and Anna Friel as her mother, has won plaudits for breaking new ground. But some parents of children who have transitioned, or have explored the possibility, question whether Maxine should be on such a journey in the first place.
In their reading of the drama, she was possibly a gay boy who had no need to transition. Similar, real-life concerns were raised recently when a group of parents with transgender children met Paul Jenkins, the chief executive of the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust, which operates the UK’s only NHS gender identity development service (GIDS) for children, to express reservations about the speed with which some young people are going through the transitioning process.