"PRIMETIME NIGHTLINE" GOES INSIDE THE WORLD OF TRANSGENDER KIDS
AND TEENS IN "MY (EXTRA) ORDINARY FAMILY: MY KID IS TRANSGENDER"
On WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), "Primetime Nightline" goes on a remarkable journey inside three families struggling to do right by their transgender kids - one, a biological boy who, at age 10, is now going to school as a girl and who will soon be given medicine to keep from going through male puberty; a15-year-old biological girl who is taking testosterone to make her more masculine; and a 19-year-old biological male who goes to Mexico to have six surgeries in two hours to make him more feminine. Cynthia McFadden looks at the challenges these individuals face, the decisions they and their parents make and the risks they have to take in order to become the people they feel they were born to be. The program looks at the social, medical and surgical changes and their emotional toll, includes discussions with leading experts, and finds a grim reality -- transgender kids often are rejected by their families. One estimate has over 33% of them attempting suicide.
Jackie, a 10-year-old from Ohio, was originally born as Jack. As a toddler, Jack was drawn to his sister's dolls and clothes and enjoyed dressing up in tutus. Turning 10, with tears in his eyes he told his parents, "I'm a girl on the inside." Within months, with his parents' help, Jack became Jackie. She now attends school as a girl, wearing girl's clothing, heels and makeup. "Primetime Nightline" is there as Jackie navigates her transition and meets relatives for the first time as a girl. Soon she will begin taking puberty blockers, a controversial treatment which will prevent her from going through male puberty.
Nathan is a 15-year-old living in Arizona and was originally born Natalie. Always feeling out of place as a girl, he came home from his first day of pre-school to tell his mother, "I'm a boy." He started dressing in gender neutral clothing in pre-school. As Natalie grew up, her parents became convinced this wasn't a phase, and are now helping in the transition. The program follows Natalie as she changes her name to Nathan in court and prepares to start testosterone treatment, which will give her the physical attributes of a boy. Harassed into home schooling, Nathan has no friends his own age. Cynthia McFadden introduces him to his transgender idol, Chaz Bono, who offers him and his family a few words of advice and hope.
Vanessa is 19-years-old living and working in New York City. Vanessa was born as Pierry. At first, her immigrant family had a difficult time accepting their son as their daughter, but now that she has decided on surgery, they have come to support her. But neither the family nor Vanessa can afford the transition, so she has turned to prostitution to pay for the body she feels she should've been born with. "Primetime Nightline" goes along with her to Guadalajara, Mexico, where $6500 cash will buy her six surgeries in two hours, as she struggles to become the woman she's always wanted to be.
"Primetime Nightline" also profiles Kim Petras, a burgeoning pop sensation who became the world's youngest person to have a complete sex change operation at the age of 16, and interviews Charles Kane, perhaps the only person in the world to have sexual reassignment surgery twice�going from man to woman and back again. Kane regrets his decision to have sexual reassignment surgery, and believes children should not be given these therapies.
ABC News' "Nightline" is anchored by Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Bill Weir. John Donvan and Juju Chang are correspondents. Jeanmarie Condon is the executive producer.