Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks is gearing up for a transsexual storyline in which a 15-year-old girl decides she “wants to be a boy”.
Watch actress Victoria Atkin talk about her Hollyoaks storyline
The storyline comes in the wake of ITV’s Coronation Street which used a storyline that mimicked the aims and language of homosexual lobby groups.
The new female character on Hollyoaks will dress as a boy in the story and have an on-screen kiss with a woman.
Hollyoaks’ website describes the character, Jasmine, as “a cosseted, overly protected little girl that her dad Carl will do anything to keep from growing up. Or at least that’s how her family see her…
“In truth, Jasmine has kept a secret from her family for many years – she wants to be a boy.”
The actress has been advised by a 17-year-old girl who lives as a boy and wants sex change surgery.
The girl, now known as Ben, has said she wants the soap storyline to affect people’s thinking on the issue.
Hollyoaks series producer Paul Marquess told the BBC: “I was sitting thinking about what would be a great Hollyoaks story and what is the sort of story that Hollyoaks could tell in a way that no other show could.” He said he has received “positive” feedback so far.
The BBC’s Newsbeat report quotes Dr Victoria Holts from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust Gender Identity Clinic.
She said that people coming to them saying they had gender identity disorder “shouldn’t be told that it’s just a phase – come back in a few years”.
In the Coronation Street storyline the actress who plays the lesbian character clearly stated it was not a “phase” her character was going through.
The insistence that homosexuality and transsexualism are not “phases” is taken from LGBT activists who have been lobbying soaps to run campaigning storylines.
Critics of sex change operations say that gender dysphoria is a psychiatric problem, not a physical one, and radical physical surgery does more harm than good.
Many transsexuals regret their decision to live in the opposite sex. A Home Office report on transsexualism, released in April 2000, said: “Many people revert to their biological sex after living for some time in the opposite sex”.