A twelve-year-old boy has started at his new secondary school dressed as a girl and says he wants a ‘sex change’ operation when he is old enough.
Other pupils at the school were left confused and upset after the boy’s decision was announced in a school assembly, according to newspaper reports.
Pupils were warned that if they refused to refer to the boy as a girl and use the new name he has adopted they would face punishment.
The mother of one of the boy’s classmates said he is “already a target for bullying”.
“And what has really upset the parents is that the school didn’t see fit to send us a letter first so we could explain it to our children in our own way”, she added.
“Parents surely have a right to know when their children are being confronted with such sensitive issues as gender realignment at such a young age.”
The school, in the south of England, has provided the pupil with a separate toilet and changing room in the sports hall. The name of the school has not been disclosed.
The boy’s mother said: “We are committed to ensuring the very best for our child. We are working with other agencies to ensure our child’s welfare is protected.”
It is understood that at the boy’s primary school, his head teacher insisted that the children treat him as a boy.
The pupil reportedly wore a bikini in swimming lessons, and wore his hair in pigtails.
Reports say the boy is hoping to have ‘sex change’ surgery and hormone treatment but this is rarely permitted in the UK before the age of 16.
Earlier this year a German boy aged 16 became the youngest transsexual in the world.
Critics of sex change operations say that transsexualism involves a psychological problem, not a physical one, and so radical physical surgery is inappropriate.
Many transsexuals regret their decision to live in the opposite sex. A Home Office report on transsexualism said: “Many people revert to their biological sex after living for some time in the opposite sex”.
Doctors from the NHS Portman Clinic – an internationally acclaimed centre – have stated, “what many patients find is that they are left with a mutilated body, but the internal conflicts remain”.