60 Minutes: My Secret Self

We've come a long way. The publicity blurb for a transgender story actually gets the phrasing right.

liz hayesFor the second time in less than a month, 60 Minutes has a story on gender identity.

Liz Hayes has a story on a young transgender child, born male but now living as female at the age of 8 -with the support of her parents.

Encouragingly, the Nine press material on this even uses the right gender phrasing in explaining the story:

My Secret Self
This is a story that at first glance seems quite unbelievable. It’s about a little girl called Jazz. She’s only eight years old and she was born a boy. She is probably the youngest transgender child in the world. For years, Jazz felt something was wrong, that somehow she was trapped in the wrong body. So she decided to dress and live as a girl. And even more controversially, her parents accepted it. Your natural reaction is how could they? How could someone so young possibly make such a complex decision? That’s certainly what Liz Hayes thought, but why don’t you meet this unusual family, then see what you think.
Reporter: Liz Hayes
Producer: Stephen Rice

Note the lines: “She was trapped in the wrong body” and “So she decided to dress and live as a girl.” We’ve come along way.

Years ago this would have been written “He decided to dress and live as a girl.” Given we’re now talking about a female identity, it’s good to see this addressed in the present tense.

Fingers crossed, it suggests the story will be sensitively handled.

Other stories include:

Driven to Distraction
We know we shouldn’t. But come on, admit it – we do it, don’t we. Many of us break the law by using our mobile phones while we’re driving. It’s just too tempting to have a chat or send a text. And we bet most offenders think they can do so quite safely behind the wheel. The truth is you can’t. The latest research shows that if you drive and talk on the phone – hand-held or even hands-free – you’re four times more likely to crash. Text, and the risk is eight times higher. Eight times. Still don’t get it, well just watch on Sunday night. And we should mention this story starts with a bang, an explicit scene that shows exactly what can happen.
Reporter: Tara Brown
Producers: Stephen Taylor, Julia Timms

The X-Men
The Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, sure. But the X Games? Michael Usher had to admit he’d never heard of them. But after a weekend in Los Angeles, he tells us they match the big ones for spectacle, skill and sheer adrenaline. The X Games are simply the best. The world’s best skateboarders, BMX bikers and freestyle motocross riders defying gravity and common sense, in pursuit of victory, fame and fortune. They’re almost beyond belief. As daring, as dangerous, as you can get. And naturally, because it’s sport, Australians are in the thick of it, thrilling the fans and frightening the life out of their friends and family.
Reporter: Michael Usher
Producer: Nick Greenaway

This airs 7:30pm Sunday on Nine.

5 Responses

  1. We are still coming to terms with our transgender childs needs. At the age of two my daughter began asking where her penis was and at that time we laughed it off. But as time passed and she would occasionally make it very clear that the femaleness of certain things – clothes and expectations put on her just didn’t sit right we began to take it more seriously.
    He is now 7 and we have seen a blossoming in her his confidence when we reached certain milestones as a family. First was a boys haircut at the age of 5. Then getting rid of every last vestige of female clothing. Finally a name change to more gender neutral one. I have never seen him happier.
    This morning we are approaching another leap which is why I find myself online looking for other parents in the same boat.
    He asked me to try to always refer to him as ‘he’ and ‘him’. In public most people who don’t know him have always seen a little boy. But i realised when he explained to me how much not having a’ boys body to go with his boys brain hurt his heart and made him feel like crying’ that I have to get my head around this next step. I realised that part of me still grieves for the little girl that is no more.
    I have also read about some people who have by choice reverted back later in life which amazes and confuses me even more.
    It is a complex issue in an adult world but not when you are 2 or 5 or even 7. We let him dictate the speed of the changes becuse they weren’t important to him in his world until he asked for them. It makes it trickier for the rest of the world (including us) because we grownups like things sorted and boxed and
    Hitting school held all kinds of issues to deal with – suddenly his world was divided into Pink or Blue. Fortunately our school has been extremely supportive of him and us on this unfamiliar path and are being proactive in tackling issues she is facing.
    We had always tried to make him understand that he didn’t have to be one or the other and that we will always love her or him no matter what. But I don’t think you can do anything but damage if you try to repress these obviously genuine feelings.
    PS After writing this I had to go back and change all the she’s to he’s.

  2. I know what it’s like in Jazz’s shoes as I am transgender identified myself and in my oppinion I think that Liz Hayes was very respectful in her words. I am happy to know that there are parents of trangender children out there who are doing their best for their children, because I wasn’t game enought to explain who I really was to my parents due to trust issues… anyway, this story has given me alot to think about for my future. Thankyou.

  3. “She is probably the youngest transgender child in the world.” Um no. I don’t know any transgendered people (as far as I know) but from what I have read, most work it out when they are very young (before they know what it actually means, they just know they are a boy/girl: despite what everyone keeps telling them). Apart from that, congrats channel 9, a definite improvement.

  4. David, I guess this is a pretty stupid question to be asking you, but do you have any idea where Liam Bartlett is…? He’s been off 60 Minutes for months now, all I can think of is, he’s off filing major investigative stories for 60 Minutes, to compete when Sunday Night returns…

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