Star actress: I might have been trans if I was growing up now

Actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge has revealed she had a five-year phase of wanting to be a boy and would have “jumped” at being transgender if her school had encouraged it.

The 33-year-old revealed she shaved her hair, began wearing boys’ clothes and asked her parents to call her ‘Alex’ from the age of six.

But the star said her five-year ‘tomboy’ phase ended as she grew older.


Waller-Bridge, star of British comedy-drama Fleabag, now wonders what might have happened to her if she had been presented with the choice of living as the opposite sex when she was younger.

Talking about her childhood she said: “I just desperately wanted to be a boy more than anything else.”

“I just wanted to be out climbing the trees and wearing comfortable clothes”, she said, “and a lot of my friends were really into the dresses and the dolls and all that kind of stuff. It just wasn’t my bag”.

She went on to say that if transgenderism “had been taken seriously by my school or those options had been given to me, I probably would’ve jumped at it.”

‘Crossover point’

She told America’s National Public Radio that she began asking to be called ‘Phoebe’ again at the age of eleven, when she started boarding school.

She said: “I remember meeting a boy and then suddenly becoming really aware that I looked sort of boyish myself and that he probably didn’t like that.”

“That was the kind of crossover point.”

Waller-Bridge explained that after she left her tomboy phase, she was very happy living as a woman.

Rushed treatment

Her comments reignite debate about whether girls who do not conform to gender stereotypes should be encouraged to live as boys.

Last year, the NHS’s only gender identity clinic for children was accused of “fast-tracking” young people through its service.

A senior member of staff at the Tavistock clinic submitted a report indicating that staff had been rushing children into treatments such as hormone therapy and irreversible ‘sex-change’ surgery without a proper assessment.

More than 2,300 children were referred to the Tavistock gender clinic in 2017 and 2018.

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