A WOULD-be journalist from Taunton has won the South West BBC Young Reporter competition after opening up about the discrimination his mother has suffered.

Former Castle School student Oscar said he grew up witnessing transphobia against his mum, Christine.

Reporting on Points West, Oscar said: "Sick, scared and on the verge of tears. That's how you feel when someone you love is being discriminated for who they are.

"Growing up I've witnessed transphobia towards my mum, year after year, and for some of the worst instances, I was too young to comprehend what was happening.

"The fact that I wasn't there to understand or help when I was younger frustrates me, because like so many others who have had similar experiences, mum was alone.

"These incidents weren't frequent, but they didn't have to be to have an impact on us as a family.

"Sometimes I found myself looking out for anyone who could have been targeting my mum.

"This can make you become paranoid out of fear and protection for a loved one and that, for anyone, is not ok.

"What we have experienced as a family has been horrible, but it was important to us that we continued to enjoy our lives, to stick together and support each other."

Fortunately, things have improved and Oscar added: "Nowadays it's not often that we get transphobic discrimination. The world is increasingly changing, more people are becoming more and more accepting. It's always getting better."

Oscar praised Castle School for the support he was offered there.

He said: "What we have experienced as a family has been horrible, but it was important to us that we continued to enjoy our lives, to stick together and support each other.

"This was something reflected during my time at secondary school.

"The atmosphere at my school was a welcoming one, but not knowing anyone, coupled with my situation, made me incredibly nervous.

"However, thanks to the support from the school and my head of house, I never had anything to worry about."

Oscar and Christine were also welcomed by their favourite football club, Norwich City, where its LGBT+ group Proud Canaries has ensured they are safe when they go to matches.

Interviewed by her son for the BBC report, Christine said: "Oscar was a fantastic support and helped me through some difficult situations, sometimes just by being there and giving me confidence whenever it was lacking.

"We've been fortunate enough to discover caring support from people, that has made our lives considerably more comfortable.

"When we have needed to speak up about an incident, more support and action has been taken and that shows how much change we're witnessing, much of which is due to the much more accepting attitude of young people today."

Castle School headteacher James Lamb said: "Congratulations to Oscar - we are so incredibly proud of him.

"We value and celebrate difference at The Castle School.

"We have just launched the slogan #NotAtOurSchool which focuses on respect and kindness.

"Ensuring young people feel empowered to be themselves and are able to share their concerns with adults in the school.

"Well done Oscar for making your voice heard and raising concerns that really matter."