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So you're 5 year old son says to you...

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"I'm a girl"

How would you handle this?

A FIVE-year old boy is living as a girl after telling his parents he is trapped in the wrong body.

Zach Avery, shown with mum Teresa, has blonde pigtails and is treated as a girl at school.

Theresa, 32, said proudly: "Other kids haven't batted an eyelid. There's been no problems.

She also yesterday told of the touching moment he came to her and told of his torment.

Zach was just three, but already felt he was trapped in the wrong body.

The mum-of-four said: "He just turned round to me one day and said: 'Mummy... I'm a girl'."

Theresa assumed Zach, now five, was just "going through a phase".

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But she then began to suspect there was a problem — later diagnosed as Gender Identity Disorder, where the brain tells a person they are a different sex to their body.

Theresa went on: "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.

"He used to cry and try to cut off his willy out of frustration."

Concerned Theresa and Darren took him to a specialist at Tavistock and Patman Foundation Trust in London. After numerous consultations and observations he was officially diagnosed by an NHS child psychologist with GID.

It makes Zach one of the youngest affected kids in the UK.

He has now been living happily as a girl for more than a year.

At home Zach wears pink dresses and ribbons in his long, blond hair and even has a purple tutu. And at school, Purfleet Primary in Essex, he is totally accepted by the other kids.

The school has even made the toilet block "gender-neutral" to support him with all signs taken off the doors so there are no longer separate toilets for boys and girls.

During school time Zach wears a girl's trouser uniform and black boots with pink trim, which Theresa said expresses his femininity. She added: "We explained to the other kids at the school that Zach's body was that of a boy but in his brain he was a girl.

"We said Zach was just happier being a girl than a boy.

"The other kids haven't batted an eyelid, they've accepted Zach as Zach and there have been no problems with bullying. The school has been brilliant and really supportive.

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"They have changed the toilets and they address him as a girl, which is what he wants.

"When he gets a bit older, there will be more difficulties surrounding the bathroom issue, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it — it may be that Zach will use the staff toilets." Theresa and artist husband Darren, 41, said Zach used to be a "normal" little boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine. But he then became obsessed with the kids' TV character Dora the Explorer and started dressing in girls' clothing.

Finally, at the end of 2010, Zach, who has a brother Alex, six, told his stunned parents he wanted to live as a girl. Theresa admits that although she misses "her little boy" the whole family is very supportive. She said: "He just wants to be like a little girl and he's very happy with his long blond hair, pink and red bedroom and a wardrobe full of girls' clothes.

"He likes playing with his sister's toys but still loves Dr Who too and plays with his brother.

"And we still put some neutral clothes in his wardrobe if he ever decides he wants to wear them. We leave it up to him to decide what he wants to do — if he changes his mind and wants to be a boy again then he does, but if he doesn't, he doesn't."

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Figures from the Tavistock and Patman Foundation Trust clinic — the national body for GID — show 165 children have been diagnosed in the past year.

The clinic was unable to comment on individual cases, but only seven children under the age of five were diagnosed last year — making Zach one of the youngest.

A spokesman said: "We see children and young people up to the age of 18, from across the UK, who are experiencing difficulties in the development of their gender identity.

"This includes children who are unhappy with their biological sex. Some may be boys who prefer activities and roles associated with the opposite sex, some may also identify as the opposite sex and vice versa for girls.

"In general when younger children are referred it is in relation to cross gender preferences in play, play mates and activities.

Content ... Zach has had no problems at school

CATER

"It is more unusual for children of this age to express cross gender identification — that is the wish or belief that they belong to the opposite sex. The diagnosis of GID is made by the key workers working with the young person. We will also assess their general wellbeing. We remain in contact with young people often for many years."

The spokesman added: "Our aim is not to predict or direct the outcome, but rather to support the young person in their general development as well as develop a trusting collaborative therapeutic relationship in which it is possible to openly explore their feelings about their gender.

"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.

"There are people out there but they don't want to talk about it."

Theresa, of Purfleet, admitted: "I would love to have my son back, but I want him to be happy.

"If this is the route he wants to take — if this is what makes him happy — then so be it. I would rather him have my full support."

myView

By JOAN KING of

The Gender Trust

THE really positive thing here is that the family are supporting this young person.

They are allowing her to develop herself and not allowing her to be guided the way many parents guide children.

Unfortunately people have this fixation with deciding whether a person is a boy or a girl. This family has acknowledged what this little woman has said and have gone out and taken advice, and they are allowing this child to develop.

Now that's what we should do all the time. We shouldn't be so categoric in making our child go one way or another.

We have just got to love them, let them develop and go forward. The child would have developed this way. Now she isn't suppressed — and can turn to her family.

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Tried to cut off his Willy?

Pmsl!

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cant help but think that if they didnt watch tv this sh*t wouldnt exist

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Look at the parents

Alot can b explained by looking at them

:/

What?

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Someone is responsible for confusing him. Deal with that person then that him to church.

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Someone is responsible for confusing him. Deal with that person then him to church.

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Absolutely ridiculous

"Theresa and artist husband Darren, 41, said Zach used to be a "normal" little boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine. But he then became obsessed with the kids' TV character Dora the Explorer and started dressing in girls' clothing."

Whatever the parents said and how they treated him after this point has created this confusion.

I'm actually mad

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so easy to blame the parents, then it happens to u n all of a sudden its a different issue.

if he's happy then he's happy

he may grow out of it, he may not

ahh well

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Absolutely ridiculous

"Theresa and artist husband Darren, 41, said Zach used to be a "normal" little boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine. But he then became obsessed with the kids' TV character Dora the Explorer and started dressing in girls' clothing."

Whatever the parents said and how they treated him after this point has created this confusion.

I'm actually mad

maybe dora is more to blame

the parents obvs have billy mitchell genes i wouldnt expect much from them

espesh when theyre probably jus as much victims as the kids

prolly sit in front of the tv all day bein fed bullshit jus like kurtis must

gurantee theyre avid hollyoaks fans

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then you got the school pandering to this monstrosity

what is going on

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Absolutely ridiculous

"Theresa and artist husband Darren, 41, said Zach used to be a "normal" little boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine. But he then became obsessed with the kids' TV character Dora the Explorer and started dressing in girls' clothing."

Whatever the parents said and how they treated him after this point has created this confusion.

I'm actually mad

maybe dora is more to blame

the parents obvs have billy mitchell genes i wouldnt expect much from them

not even...

kids like dora and they like to dress up

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lol @ thinking any 5 year old boy willingly wants to wear a dress

lol @ thinking any 5 year old boy genuinely wants to be a girl

Child obviously has deep seeded issues

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Saw this in the Metro today.

Another scenario to which I can say with confidence: "This will never happen to me"

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how deep seeded can ones issues be at the tender age of 5

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There is more than meets the eye, this is never some kind of genetic disorder as the papers suggest.

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This is what happens in a society were youts are given so much power, and their imagine combined with sitting in front of the box all day produces such fraff. To make it worse animals that call themselves adults take it seriously and even encourage this.

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Cant even lie if my son hold me he wanted to be a girl I would be devastated. Difficult to know how to deal with until your in that position though..

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Thing I don't really get is y the f*ck the parent felt the need to tell the world and sell this story 2 the sun...

Say it is just a phase the kids never gonna live this sh*t down

How this makes front page as well? smh

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This is what happens in a society were youts are given so much power, and their imagine combined with sitting in front of the box all day produces such fraff. To make it worse animals that call themselves adults take it seriously and even encourage this.

more than encouraged

the way this countrys collectivet media controlled opinion is goin it wont be long before parents like this willbe publicly outed for mentally scarrin this kid if they dont personally buy him a g string

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Cant even lie if my son hold me he wanted to be a girl I would be devastated. Difficult to know how to deal with until your in that position though..

SMH

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