A court in Australia is allowing a tween who was born a boy to become the youngest person Down Under to undergo a sex-change therapy.
“Jamie” has dressed in girls’ clothes, used the girls’ bathroom at school and worn her hair long and in a style more accustomed to those of the female persuasion for the past two years.
According to her parents, medical experts and psychiatrists, the fear is that without seeking the therapy, early-onset puberty could lead Jamie to self-harm or suicide, and therefore the court was petitioned to allow her to undergo the change.
Jamie will be permitted to start a course of drugs that will stop male puberty, and when she turns 16, she will be allowed to appear in court again to seek approval to start the second stage of taking female hormones to further feminize her body.
Jamie told the court that she sees herself as a “freak” and a “girl in a boy’s body,” and that as a toddler, she always identified herself as a girl.
Jamie’s mom said the family has been treating her as a girl since 2008, at which time her fraternal twin brother announced he accepted her condition, saying, “I have a sister.” She also said she feels confident this is the right course of action for her troubled offpsring, and that without it, Jamie’s voice would change, she’d develop an Adam’s apple and grow facial hair. A doctor said he was concerned that Jamie was experiencing rapid-onset puberty — developing at the rate of a 14-year-old. The treatment to stop puberty is reversible, but once puberty happens, it is permanent.
I always feel for people in these situations, but usually the ones I read about are adults. Ten years old seems a little young for such a drastic life change, but the timing does seem critical in this case. And from what I’ve read about Jamie, despite her young age, there seems to be little doubt from the reports by her, her family and doctors — and a judge — that this is the right course of action. Hopefully her story will give other kids some peace of mind if they were also born in the body of the wrong sex that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.