BBC Doctors sensitive take on cross-dressing

Take a look at today’s really sweet episode of Doctors shown this lunch time:

OK the plot was slightly contrived, and the acceptance came sooner than might have been expected but time is tight in this kind of format and the tale was well-told.

Kim, a teenage schoolboy who has been brought up by his blind mother, has become uncomfortable about her touching him. It sounds normal enough, but the mother who has always related to him through touch is grieving. More than that, her sixth sense leads her to suspect that there’s a deeper problem behind it, so she visits the surgery to talk to Chris, the practice nurse, to see if he can help her.

Kim’s mother is a devout Roman Catholic. Kim claims to have become an atheist under the influence of Richard Dawkins. He no longer attends Mass. Other scenes show Kim being bullied by the boys at his Church school, but when an elderly nun suggests that is the reason for the bruise on his face he denies it and says that he fell in the dark at home.

Scene prior to denouement: Kim is doing his homework at the kitchen table. His mother is with him unable to see that he is wearing a sparkly dress, patterned tights and a hair grip. When Chris the nurse arrives on the pretext of delivering some medication, Kim puts on his parka but he has been rumbled. Not a problem though as he finds a sympathetic advocate in Chris, unlike the nun from school who turns up as well and is shocked to see Kim is cross-dressing.

Actually, I think I’ll leave it there and let you find out what happens after that by following the link. From a Changing Attitude perspective though, what is sad about this episode is that the Church is presented as ill-equipped in this situation, in contrast to the caring, non-judgemental medical professionals.

What I will reveal is that Kim’s mother is astute enough to realise that the priest, who is said to be a specialist in these matters, would ‘change him’ at the expense of ‘who he is’. One of the best lines comes from the doctor to the habited nun: ‘Dressing up is a valid form of self-expression, wouldn’t you say Sister.’



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