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