When He’s a She – At Age 5


What little boy hasn’t played with dolls at some point? Okay, sure, there are some out there who stuck strictly to GI Joes and Tonka trucks, but any child psychologist will tell it’s perfectly normal for children to cross gender boundaries; girls will want to play in the sandbox, boys will want to wear Mary Janes. But what about your five-year-old boy who, from the day he was born, insisted he was a she? Meet Nicole (nee Nicholas), perhaps the youngest transgender person out there.

Born a biological male whom the family named Nicholas, Nicole today dresses, acts, and lives like a girl. She’s been insisting she’s female since she could talk, say the Andersons, who asked that their real names not be used for this article. “He has always been attracted to the flowers, the bright colors, his Barbie dolls, and his beloved mermaids,” Lauren says, using the male pronoun for her child. In fact, talking with Lauren, who fully supports Nicole’s desire to live as a girl, it’s clear that the family is still working out the grammar of how to refer to its youngest.

Nicole’s story only gets more interesting from there. When toenail polish and Little Mermaid toys weren’t enough, Nicole approached her parents – at age two – and asked for “the fairy princess to come and make my penis into a vagina.” For now, five-year-old Nicole is in the clear when it comes to hiding her biological gender. But puberty isn’t that far off, and thus neither is the question of reassignment surgery.

See Tom Be Jane [VV]