EV­ERY DAY JAY­DEN IS GIVEN THE CHOICE – BOYS’ OR GIRLS’ UNI­FORM? AND EV­ERY DAY SHE MAKES SAME DE­CI­SION

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News -

on hor­mone block­ers when she’s older if she wants to re­main be­ing a girl. Peo­ple have ac­tu­ally asked us if she’s had the surgery al­ready to her lower half, which is frankly ridicu­lous. She’s five!

‘Oth­ers have told me I should force Jay­den to be a boy and not pan­der to it be­cause she will get bul­lied. But she was get­ting bul­lied any­way be­cause she’s al­ways been flam­boy­ant.’

She added: ‘This is all about a boy wear­ing a dress and some peo­ple’s prej­u­dices. If it was a girl with short hair and track­suit bot­toms, no one would bother.’

Sit­ting be­side her mother, proudly show­ing off her Yo-kai Watch and Poke­mon colour­ing book, pony­tailed Jay­den says: ‘I don’t like it when peo­ple say I’m a boy. It makes me sad. I like be­ing a girl.’

Ly­ing nearby is the pic­ture book My Princess Boy, which was writ­ten by au­thor Ch­eryl Kilo­davis about her son, Dyson, whose self­ex­pres­sion does not con­form to stereo­typ­i­cal gen­der roles. One of the ways he ex­presses him­self is by wear­ing girls’ cloth­ing.

Greg added: ‘We’ve sought pro­fes­sional ad­vice be­cause we had no idea what to do as Jay­den was only four when this started. We con­tacted our health vis­i­tors, our GP, the school, who have all of­fered help. Health vis­i­tors have said we must give Jay­den the choice and ev­ery morn­ing for al­most a year she’s cho­sen girls’ cloth­ing. When she started school in Au­gust last year, we even spent a small for­tune buy­ing two school uni­forms – a boy’s and a girl’s – so that she had an op­tion. She chose the girl’s.

‘We have taken all the guid­ance to es­sen­tially let Jay­den choose, which is why the crit­i­cism has been hard to take.’

Both Jay­den’s nurs­ery and school have been in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive, say her par­ents, to the point the head teacher in­vited an LGBT ex­pert in to meet with staff, who also spoke to her pupils at as­sem­bly on the wider is­sue.

Greg said: ‘As far as we are con­cerned, it is so­ci­ety that is try­ing to sex­u­alise how Jay­den is pre­sent­ing her­self. She is so young and all she wants to do is wear girls’ clothes, plain and sim­ple.

‘She had no idea un­til an­other child – told to do so by their par­ent – cor­nered her at school and said she couldn’t be a girl be­cause she had a “willy”.

‘Jay­den was upset. Un­til then, she didn’t know boys and girls had dif­fer­ent “bits”. Peo­ple are over-com­pli­cat­ing it and try­ing to turn it into some­thing nasty when it is just a five-year-old want­ing to be her­self.’

Look­ing back at fam­ily pho­to­graphs, Greg, who met Jody on an on­line dat­ing ser­vice, says with hind­sight the early signs of Jay­den’s yearn­ing to be a girl were there.

SHE al­ways grav­i­tated to­wards girls, and while her con­tem­po­raries were en­gaged in rough-and­tum­ble games, she was hap­pi­est dress­ing up as Princess Anna from the an­i­mated movie Frozen.

The cou­ple con­tacted the Child and Ado­les­cent Men­tal Health Ser­vices to have Jay­den as­sessed but were told the young­ster did not have men­tal health is­sues, merely a gen­der is­sue.

Jay­den is now on the wait­ing list for the Sandy­ford Clinic in Glas­gow, which of­fers a Young Peo­ple’s Gen­der Ser­vice. Too young for med­i­ca­tion or hor­mone treat­ment, she will re­ceive coun­selling over the next few years.

Greg said: ‘Be­cause of her young age, Jay­den will have coun­selling for a long time to ex­plore who she is. The most im­por­tant thing is en­sur­ing she is happy if she wants to fully be­come a girl. We don’t want a child suf­fer­ing from men­tal health prob­lems be­cause she’s been told she can’t be who she wants to be. I know what that re­jec­tion is like and we don’t want it for her.’

He adds: ‘What­ever the out­come, we will sup­port her through it and when she is old enough to com­pre­hend it, I will fi­nally tell her about me. In the mean­time, we want to do the best for Jay­den.’

CLEAR CHOICE: Jay­den al­ways chooses the girls’ uni­form over the boys’

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