Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Transgender Canadian, 11, born a girl returns to school for first term as a boy

 When 11-year-old Wren Kauffman goes back to school this week it will be the first time many of his classmates will have seen him as a boy.

The Canadian child was born a girl but, thanks to the support of his family, Wren is ready to start life as the gender he believes he should have been born as.

Teachers and fellow pupils are aware of Wren's transformation and when he starts at his Edmonton school he will use the boy's locker rooms and toilets.

 Although Wren, who was born Wrenna, knew from a young age that he was different, it took his parents a little longer to realize their daughter wanted more than to just be a tom boy.

'It's like you're trapped inside someone else's body that you don't want to be in,' Wren told CTV News.

From a very early age Wren enjoyed dressing up as comic book heroes, wore his hair short and, at about the age of 3, would ask when he would get to be a boy.

It was his little sister, Avy, who finally pressed home to their parents that Wren was transgendered.Mrs Kauffman said her young child had been able to see what Wren was going through, before his parents had.

When he was nine, Mrs Kauffman said Wren got really upset, and told her: 'I know that I'm different, I feel different every day. I can't be a girl and be happy.'
Mrs Kauffman added: 'When I think about it, it makes me sad that I didn't listen sooner.'She later told Wren: 'I love you whether you’re a boy or a girl and I understand now. And we’ll figure out how we can help you. And we’ll do it together.'
His parents got in touch with Kris Wells, from the University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services.
He said when he first met the family, he could see they loved their children unconditionally and were on a quest to be able to help Wren.
Six out of 1,000 students experience transgenderism, according to some studies, and Dr Wells said his department receives calls and emails from parents and schools asking for help at least once a day.
In Wren's case, he is being given injections to delay puberty until he is 16, so he can decide whether to being male hormone treatment and, ultimately, gender realignment surgery when he is 18.
While some families chose to be secretive, the Kauffman's have been open about Wren's transformation.
He said some people have teased him but he 'can handle it,' although he is prepared that he may be bullied later in life.
'If you’re not yourself, then it kind of gets sad and depressing,' Wren said. 'I’m glad that I told everybody.'

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