I waited until the 3 part Drama was shown, and then binge watched the series.
A very good production, concentrating on the Parental issues surrounding having a Trans child. Not sure if there are follow up series, but ITV did a good job from that focal point, as seen by myself.
I would have preferred a much longer series. One which shows the actual issues of becoming Maxine, one which shows a more in depth impact on being “different”, at school and in those early years. How the bond that the Sisters have, came to fruition. Then there are the Grandparents opinions. Perhaps even a part where the bullies are confronted, and explain their points of view of why it seems OK to harass a Trans Child.
I was quite surprised at myself for managing to watch it, when connecting with trigger moments, and I felt emotional. Forgotten memories came back. It was difficult for me, but I am all grown up now! The depiction of Maxine’s early years was very close to home and reminded me of my own experience, trying to fit in from age 4. Not understanding why I was being bullied and treated like I was a disease. Why the teachers would drag me by my ear back to the boys group. Why did Mum punish me for ripping my shorts, to make them into a make do skirt. And so much more. Even in my mature years now, I am still struggling to understand peoples opinions of me, and others like me.
But I am pleased that ITV presented this in a way, that shows that being a Trans is not a fetish, nor a disease, but shown in way that Maxine was just a normal child in a difficult position with her family. I hope Butterfly will come back as another series, perhaps a before and after, to depict the human journey of trans young people and their families and portray it to a much wider audience.
Trans in such a hot topic these days. I think it is important that series like this are made, but more often. I do hope so many watch Butterfly, and then realise that being Trans is nothing to be afraid of. I am sure a lot of people express themselves in later life, by wearing the opposite genders clothes to parties and functions etc. It is not a fetish, it is not abnormal. But they will return to their natural selves after such events. Trans want to just be normal and express their gender, day in and day out, as known in our hearts and minds.
So I totally hope, that people will watch and understand, not only Maxine, but her family as well, through the difficult process. But also understand why hormonal intervention is of the utmost importance during those years before puberty sets in. Those are the golden years of our lives where we learn about ourselves, and how we fit into society as a normal human being of the correct gender, regardless of how we look. It would also alleviate so much misery, depression and even suicidal ideations.
I found the most upsetting scene, as in my own experience, was of Maxine in the bath with glass, desperately wanting it cut off due to the unwanted erections. I to have been there a few times in my life, but with garden shears and various chords to strangle him.
It will never be easy for any Transchild. But if people watch series like this one, then a greater understanding, and even acceptance, will be for the good of all.
Life is different now. We have the internet. Maxine found out about her true self and an understanding of her inner self, by researching and watching and listening to others. I too have found this out, but unfortunately for me, all too late. When I was Maxine’s age there was no internet. There was nobody to talk to, to explain I wanted it cut off.
So older people like me are even more misunderstood, because the world knows of cross dressers, transvestites etc. I feel I am looked upon as a pervert, even after all these years. I first knew about the term when a very young child. I was also a little emotional at the verbal bullying, and the threat of physical bullying as depicted in the series. I have a lot of memories about that. I grew up having to adjust to “fit in”, to be accepted, just to find peace.
But Maxine’s words at the end so struck a chord with me. And I quote:
“I’ve been suicidal, If I had been more honest about how I felt, I wouldn’t of hurt myself to try and feel better. If I had stopped trying to please everyone, I could have been more true to myself. I’ve been living as Maxine for months now, stood to bullies and people don’t treat me as a girl. It feels right.”
“I want to feel that peace”
“My body and brain still are (at war)”
What wonderful, and truthful words, even if scripted. But I grew up having to hide my true self away. I interacted as a male, regardless of the failure of me to be one. But those words are just so true.
Regardless of what you think of Trans children, please give them the same rights to develop naturally, as you would any boy or girl. If they can grow up happy, then they are our futures. Cherish your child. Nobody has the right to dictate what or whom our children shall be. It is their happiness that must come first, isnt it?
As to me. Well I am still me, but struggling to live as me due all the crap that is going on regarding what a woman is and is not. Still a locked in girl surrounded by misunderstanding of me, because I am compared to real perverts. Trans is not a perversion.
KLW Nov 18