A 5-year-old boy in Essex is living as a little girl, after telling his surprised parents that he feels he is female.
Zach Avery’s mum and dad have revealed his story and praised his school and friends for allowing their son to live happily as a girl.
“Other kids haven’t batted an eyelid,” said mum Theresa, 32. “There’s been no problems.”
Zach was 3 when he first expressed a belief he was a girl trapped in the body of a boy. “He just turned round to me one day and said, ‘Mummy…I’m a girl’,” Theresa explained. “At first I just left it at that. But then it got serious and he would become upset if anyone referred to him as a boy.”
Mum Theresa added, “He used to cry and try to cut off his willy out of frustration.”
Experts believe Zach is one of the youngest children in the UK to be affected by Gender Identity Disorder in Childhood (GID). He’s been living as a girl for a year and his school has even taken down gendered toilet signs, making the block gender-neutral, for him.
Experts have praised his parents for allowing Zach to develop as he wants.
“People need to be aware of this condition because it’s very common but even many family support workers have never heard of cases in children,” said a spokesperson for the Tavistock and Patman Foundation Trust clinic, the national body for GID.
Theresa, who has three other children, admitted that it’s not always easy to encourage Zach’s gender change. “I would love to have my son back, but I want him to be happy,” she said. “If this is the route he wants to take – if this is what makes him hapy – then so be it. I would rather him have my full support.”