I decided I wanted to become a boy when I was 16

I decided I wanted to become a boy when I was 16
15 Jul2011
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Read this article that appeared in the Daily Mirror:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/07/15/the-girl-who-decided-she-wanted-to-become-a-boy-at-the-age-of-16-115875-23271614/

 

As Rebecca Green walked into the cinema to meet her best friend, Gemma, she was shocked at how good-looking the guy standing next to her pal was. Despite never ­meeting him before, she had heard all about who Jason Cooper used to be.

Face-to-face with him, she found it hard not to blush shyly at his eye-catching looks. And when he leaned over to say hello and kissed her cheek, she felt her heart pounding as she mumbled back at him.

As the three young friends took their seats, Rebecca, 18, couldn't believe how she'd ­reacted to ­Jason. Because despite looking like any other 19-year-old lad, Jason was born and remains ­biologically a woman.

From as early as he can ­remember, Jason knew he was different. “My mum would try to put me in pretty pink dresses and I would be desperate to get out of them,” he recalls.

“I hung out with the boys and joined in their games of ­football while the girls sat together and talked about make-up.

“It felt natural for me to be around men. Girls seemed ­different and the few times I tried to hang out with them I felt out of place and awkward.”

Jason, who was born Nicola, didn't giggle about the boys in his year – many of them were his closest friends. But once the politics of the ­playground changed during his teenage years, he began to struggle with his identity.

“Girls hung out together and talked about boys, and boys hung out and talked about girls. I didn't feel like I fitted in anywhere.”

So, ditching his football kit in exchange for make-up and dresses in a desperate attempt to fit in, ­Jason felt more isolated than ever.

“I tried so hard to be like the other girls, but I hated every second. I even tried having a romantic ­relationship with a boy when I was 15, but I couldn't bear to even kiss him and it ­ended ­within a month.

“It was the worst period of my life, but it made me realise I couldn't live as a girl any longer.

“I was a male trapped inside a female body, and once the penny dropped there was no ­going back for me.”

So at 16, Jason cut his hair into a short crop. As the hairdresser hacked away at his long, curly locks, a huge sense of relief washed over him. It felt right.

His mum, Alison, 58, was shocked to see his new, boyish crop but, seeing how happy Jason was, she assumed it was a phase.

“It was strange to see Nicola walk through the front door with such short hair but I didn't think it that unusual,” says Alison.

“She'd been a tomboy, but her long hair made her look feminine.”

After this first step, Jason ­gradually began making even more changes. He ditched women's clothes, make-up and began wearing a ­tight-fitting binder to flatten his breasts. Then eventually, after ­realising his crushes were always on girls, he came out as gay.

“My friends were all so ­supportive and when I finally plucked up the courage to tell my parents, I was shocked but comforted when my mum said they had guessed.”

At 18, and still living as Nicola, Jason went to his closest pals for the next big step.

“I sat a few of my friends down and asked for advice on male names I could take on. They didn't laugh or act ­surprised. They all pitched in and we finally decided on Jason.”

Telling his ­parents all about his name change wouldn't be easy. But after visiting his GP and being referred to a gender clinic, it was time to explain his ­wishes to them.

He sat down to tell his mum, who had already ­figured out that something was up.

“There was a letter left open on the kitchen table inviting Nicola to a gender clinic in Glasgow,” recalls Alison. “I wondered why she was going there. When I asked what was going on, she sat me down, looked me in the eye and told me everything.

“The first thing I did was give her a hug and tell her she could have told me earlier. Despite feeling very shocked, I said I would give her all the support she needed.

“That night I cried because I felt like I was losing my daughter. But I soon reasoned she would ­become a fantastic son, and I was ­overwhelmed with pride at her strength.”

On September 10, 2010, accompanied by his mum, Jason went to the specialist clinic, where he was given ­testosterone. Soon after, his periods stopped, his voice deepened and he began growing facial hair.

“The hormones gave me so much confidence in myself as Jason, and this made a big difference when I met Rebecca a couple of months later,” he says.

The pair struck up a ­friendship almost immediately and Jason was introduced to her family.

With Rebecca secure about her boyfriend's identity and their ­relationship getting more serious, they told Rebecca's parents.

“My mum's my best friend so I had no trouble telling her Jason was a woman who was slowly becoming a man,” Rebecca says.

“It took me a little longer to tell dad, but he has been great, too.”

But their relationship hasn't been welcomed by everyone. Known at school for going out with a ­transgender boyfriend, Rebecca has had to deal with nasty comments and bullying from her peers.

“When word got around about Jason, I soon found out who my true friends were, ” she says.

“Lots of the girls call me a closet lesbian and shout abuse. I'm 100% straight so I shout back, ‘How many girls do you know called Jason?' It shuts them up.

“I've had more ­confrontations about it than Jason, but I don't view his gender as an issue – I didn't know Nicola.”

Despite being together for eight months, the loved-up pair have not yet had sex. Rebecca hasn't seen Jason naked but she understands and respects that he is ­uncomfortable showing his body.

The next big step for the couple is one that excites and worries them in equal measure.

Rebecca says: “I know he can't wait to have the surgery to remove his breasts and give him male genitals, and for that reason I'm so happy for him.

“But I can't help but worry about him because I know that surgery is dangerous and I don't want him to be in pain,” she adds.

Jason sees his future operation as the final twist in the road on his journey to becoming a man.

He will eventually undergo breast removal surgery and then a phalloplasty – the ­construction of a penis.

“Having Rebecca in my life has made the last eight months much easier,” ­­Jason explains.

“I know I have found someone ­incredibly special.­Surgery is the conclusion to what has been a long and difficult time for me.

“I'm very excited and looking forward to my future as Jason. I will be a man in every sense of the word, and I will have a truly gorgeous girlfriend by my side.”

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/07/15/the-girl-who-decided-she-wanted-to-become-a-boy-at-the-age-of-16-115875-23271614/#ixzz1V6JleAsJ

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