Why this story matters:
The story has had a direct impact on the LGBT population in Belgium: the Transgender Info Point and the Holebifoon -- a LGBT helpline -- have been getting more calls and questions.
Van Spilbeeck says she feels liberated and happy. Her openness about the process in media interviews -- including physical changes, speech therapy and her relatives' feelings -- is impressive and brave. As are her wife and two adult children, who accepted her transition a while ago.
Almost only positive reactions on the Belgian 'Caitlin Jenner'
- Bo Van Spilbeeck, formerly known as Boudewijn Van Spilbeeck, is Belgium's first transgender journalist and will transition in front of the camera.
- Van Spilbeeck said she wanted to come out as transgender 15 years ago but didn't believe that the time was right.
- The decision of the American Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner to transition to a woman in 2015 made an impression on Van Spilbeeck: "That she made that decision at the age of 65 was the moment at which I realized that I still could."
- Van Spilbeeck has cross dressed for years but only started taking hormones six months ago. The first operation on Bo's face is planned for next month.
- Van Spilbeeck's bosses at VTM News are supporting her decision: "I was given the guarantee straight away that I can carry on doing what I do."
- LGBT organizations have also applauded Van Spilbeeck's decision, saying that the more the media shares stories about transgender people, the more transgender people will be socially accepted.
- "I see it as a moral duty to use my story to bring out and to support people in their body and their gender role is not feeling well," Van Spilbeeck says.
- Not everyone has supported Van Spilbeeck's announcement. One catholic student organization criticized the media attention, saying changing gender is absurd and nothing more than "eccentric fantasies."