11-Year-Old Transgender Boy Shares His Story At School: 'I'm glad that I told everybody.'
Wren Kauffman, 11,(pictured left) is bravely living openly as a transgender boy and he'll continue to share his truth when he heads back to school this week.
Here's an excerpt:
Wendy Kauffman says she and her husband, Greg, knew their daughter was different. She would often ask: "When do I get to be a boy?" And she pleaded to be born again in order to come out right.
They thought it was a phase. Then they thought their child might be gay.
But as Wren got bigger, so did the sadness and frustration.
Kauffman says it finally hit home when Wren was about nine and Kauffman was tucking her six-year-old child, Avy, into bed one night. "She said to me, 'You know, Mom, Wren is a boy and he told me to tell you.'"
Kauffman says she got a bit defensive. "'I said, 'Well, I know Wren wants to be a boy.'
"Avy said, 'No, Mom, he REALLY wants to be a boy.'"
Kauffman, tears welling up in her eyes, says it was a pivotal moment. Her youngest child had seen it all so clearly and, now, she did too.
Kauffman later told Wren: "I love you whether you're a boy or a girl and I understand now. And we'll figure out how we can help you. And we'll do it together."
Wren and his family say they have gone public and been in the media this year so that others going through the same situation know they're not alone. Kauffman hopes other parents realize how important it is to really listen to their children. Wren wants other kids to know it's OK to be who they are.
Kauffman says she and her husband initially consulted with Wells about Wren's transition and he first started living life at home as a boy. After about a year, they were ready to tell his school.
Wren was in Grade 5 at Belgravia School, where students occasionally gathered in sharing circles to talk about life events such as the separation of parents or a family death. He took his turn to tell his classmates that he was now living his life as a boy.
Some kids had questions, but they were all supportive, Kauffman says.
The following year, Wren transferred to Victoria School of the Arts. At first, he was private about his actual sex, but after a few months he told friends and shared his story with his class.
There are a couple of older transgender students at the school, but Wren is by far the youngest.
He says it hasn't been a big deal. He uses the boys' washroom "which, by the way, is much grosser than the girls' bathroom." He also changes in a stall in the boys' gym locker room.
Wren has started monthly drug injections to pause female puberty. When he's about 16, he'll decide whether he wants to start injecting male hormones. At 18, he'll be legally old enough to have sex reassignment surgery.
Wren says he's not sure yet if he wants to take that final step. He's just excited to start Grade 7.
What do you think of Wren's decision to live openly, Instincters?