Jaye’s secret double life was about to be discovered…
Running through the front door, I tore off my shoes and sprinted up the staircase. Within seconds I was settled at my computer and frantically checking the messages.
One... two… three… four!
The unread messages flashed up on my screen and I got to work responding.
Most girls my age spent their free time shopping, watching films and gossiping with their friends.
Yet I couldn’t wait to wile away my evenings talking to my girl friends online. But there was one slight snag. My friends didn’t know the whole truth.
To my family I was Poppy, a normal teenage girl.
But to my friends online, I was Jaye – a boy.
I knew it was wrong to deceive them, but I felt more at home as a boy than I’d ever done as a girl…
Even from a young age I struggled with anything girly.
I hated all things pink, frilly or sparkly and instead, begged my mum Claire, now 43, to buy me boys’ clothes.
Despite being just five, I couldn’t wait to get dressed in my Toy Story T-shirts and Buzz Lightyear trainers.
‘Don’t you want a dress like the other girls?’ Mum would say, whenever we went shopping.
I’d refuse and Mum, who loved me and tolerated my little quirks, wouldn’t force the issue.
Sadly, the same couldn’t be said at school.
‘Ha ha, you’re an Action Girl!’ my classmates would jeer, when I took out my Action Man lunchbox in the school canteen.
Ashamed, I’d close my eyes and wish with all my heart I could be invisible.
School was torture, but home life wasn’t much better. Aged 9, I got my first period. When I first saw the red spots on my knickers I knew exactly what it meant.
But the idea of going through puberty, developing breasts and hips like my older sister Jasmine, now 24, sickened me.
Somehow, the idea of turning into a woman felt unnatural.
Distraught, I hid my changes from my mum.
Once a month I’d steal my sister’s sanitary towels.
I couldn’t bear the thought of telling Mum what was going on.
But as the years wore on it became harder to disguise the truth.
‘Maybe we should get you a bra,’ Mum said one afternoon, after studying my chest.
‘No!’ I yelled, hunching my back to hide my growing breasts. ‘I don’t need one.’
Staring at my figure in the bathroom mirror, I felt disgust well up inside me.
My waist was starting to shrink, my hips were growing outwards and small lumps on my chest had formed.
For most 12-year-old girls, the signs of womanhood would have been a welcome sight. But not for me. I covered my changing shape with baggy tops, loose trousers and sports bras.
While torment was raging inside of me, to friends I was as confident and loud as ever.
I was a stereotypical tomboy and found a group
What kind of girl hoped they would wake up a boy?
Grace doesn’t care that I’m transgender