This year, the Late Late Toy Show had 1.8 million viewers and one child presenter, Sophia, stole the heart of the nation with their anti-bullying message.
Eight year-old Sophia was on to talk about their love of Pikachu but they went off-script to speak about their experience with bullies.
“They kick me, call me weirdo, they slag my hair.”
During their segment on the Toy Show, Sophia shared a wise message that resonated with the audience who sent messages of support and admiration.
“Life would suck if everybody was the same.
“They’re all at home watching me on the telly – so who’s the weirdo now?”
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) November 29, 2019
Following their appearance on the show, Sophia’s mother Robyn spoke to 98FM, sharing more of Sophia’s story.
Note: pronouns used are direct quotes from the interview.
Sophia has told Robyn that they experience gender dysphoria and “wants to be a boy”.
“People would say she’s a child, she doesn’t know what she wants,” Sophia’s mother, Robyn Maher told 98fm.
“Some would say ‘my child wants to be a mermaid, that doesn’t mean I turn her into a mermaid’ — that’s not the point.
“It’s Sophia’s decision, I just have to go with it.”
Robyn recalled when Sophia told her they wanted to cut their hair short. She is fully supportive of Sophia, who prefers football to dolls and hated having their hair done, but said she was still taken aback and concerned for Sophia’s safety.
Robyn warned Sophia that people can be cruel, but say they were resolute on having a short hairstyle.
“It’s a big thing to get your hair cut short because I know the way people and kids can be cruel — especially adults.
“She said ‘Mam, can you let me get it done and I will just laugh at them and say can I get on with my day now?'”
Sophia’s immediate family have been very supportive of their child’s decision to cut their hair, but Robyn says some family members were not as understanding.
She recalled one family member saying, “‘I can’t look at (it)'” in reference to Sophia when they cut their hair.
“It was just horrible and she was crying … she just wants to be herself.”
Robyn said that those family members have not reached out since Sophia’s segment aired on the show.
She surmised her interview, saying Sophia has her support whatever happens.
“She is only eight, she is only a child, just let her experience that,” she said.
“If she changes back into a girl, then so be it. At the end of the day, I supported her through it all.”
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