This Morning has been praised for a sensitive interview with two proud parents who shared their unconditional love for their four-year-old transgender son.
Stormy began showing signs he was unhappy with his assigned gender at 18 months old, and by the time he was two-and-a-half he was repeatedly telling his parents he was a boy.
“It was when it was soon enough for him to talk in a way that he could express himself properly,” Stubbings said.
“Initially we just treated him as a parent, as you would any child,” Jeynes added, explaining their early confusion. “And it wasn’t until later that it became apparent that we did need to address it and validate it.”
Research suggests that children become aware of the concept of gender from around 18 months, and their understanding develops gradually between the ages of three and five.
Knowing this, the couple approached the issue tentatively, showing Stormy a range of positive female role models to ensure he didn’t feel limited. They also offered him many opportunities to change his mind, and continue to do so.
It was only after following advice of their GP, local health visitor and the trans youth charity Mermaids that they allowed him to present as male. At Stormy’s young age all this means is giving him the freedom to wear boys’ clothes, get a short haircut and choose a boy’s name.
Now age four, he’s a “bright, happy boy who loves his life,” and his parents couldn’t be more thrilled to see him thrive.
“You sound, as parents, as if you couldn’t have figured this out as a family any better,” commented host Philip Schofield. “You gently applied the brakes, realised and discussed it openly and offered alternatives.”
“It goes without saying but we absolutely adore Stormy,” replied Stubbings. “We love him so much and we’re so proud of him, and so proud of the choice that he’s made.”
“Eighteen months ago, two years ago, if I’d heard this story from somebody else I wouldn’t have believed it. I mean that, actually sincerely I wouldn’t have believed it,” the father continued.
“I thought it was all made up, it wasn’t real, I thought the whole thing was made up by parents. But because I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it, I’ve learned about it, I absolutely support what Stormy is doing.”
Unfortunately, not everyone was able to be so positive: a number of anti-trans viewers voiced strong objection to the parents online and threatened to report ITV to Ofcom for promoting “child abuse”.
It’s not yet clear how many complaints This Morning has drawn, if any, but it’s likely the broadcaster will also take into account the many positive messages the parents received as well.
“Wonderful parents, allowing their child to be 1000 per cent themselves,” wrote the comedian James Barr. “What an amazing mum and dad.”
“So glad that society is more accepting of trans people nowadays,” said trans activist Kate Montgomery. “Pathetic and embarrassing that people still get offended by trans people to the point where they have to start publicly denying science. Just get over it.”
PinkNews has reached out to ITV for comment.