THE mum of “Britain’s youngest transgender girl” has revealed her child wished to be female every Christmas from the age of just three.
Jeneen Schofield’s eight-year-old – born a boy – has had her dream come true after officially changing her name by deed poll to Luna.
She is now believed to be the UK’s youngest transgender child after being given a new passport and permission to wear a skirt to school.
And proud mum Jeneen is determined to take on critics who say her daughter was allowed to make the life-changing decision too young.
NHS worker Jeneen, 37, told The Mirror that she initially “brushed” off her toddler’s “silly” pleas to become a girl – believing it was a “phase”.
But Luna’s repeated appeals – which first started “soon after her third birthday” – led her mum to reconsider her approach.
On her fifth birthday she spent the day at Disneyland Paris in a dress. She couldn’t have been happier
Jeneen, of Liverpool, said: “My family felt she was too young to make the decision to be a girl.
“But I didn’t want to tell her how she felt and knew this wasn’t going away.”
Jeneen then phased out the “football stuff” that her toddler always seemed to shun – preferring to play with dolls and dressing up.
And at five, Luna was allowed to “socially transition” – growing her hair and dressing in traditionally female clothing in public.
Jeneen added: “Before then she’d worn princess dresses to the local shop with me, or at home.
“On her fifth birthday she spent the day at Disneyland Paris in a dress. She couldn’t have been happier.
“At the top of every Christmas and birthday wishlist was to be a girl.”
‘GRIEVING’ FOR LOST SON
But Jeneen still found it “hard to accept” what she was seeing – and at times felt like she was “grieving” for her lost son.
She added: “Suddenly I was so scared about how it might cause problems for her.
“I sat in my car and cried my heart out. I didn’t really know what trans meant.
“For weeks I was petrified Luna would have a loveless life full of people hating her.”
But Jeneen reached out for support online and was aided by the Mermaids trans-support charity.
She added: “The more research, the more I realised transitioning didn’t mean the end.
“Luna could have a happy life and find love as a girl.”
And single mum Jeneen also believes it would be wrong to force her daughter to “live a lie” – despite the latest NHS warnings.
This month psychologists said children are being allowed to live as the opposite sex too soon – a decision that could do long-term harm.
Figures show the number of gender dysphoria children in Britain doubled in the past year.
And last year 2,590 children were referred to the Leeds-based Gender Identity Development Service, where Luna visits.
That accounts for a rise of nearly 100 per cent in just four years.
Social psychologist Dr David Canter said: “No one should be assigned the label transgender before puberty.
“If the child is unhappy then the reasons should be explored without assigning labels.”
And consultant psychiatrist and TV doc Raj Persaud added: “A careful medical assessment is needed to understand what is going on.
“Only then can decisions be reached.”
‘NEVER ENCOURAGED’ CHANGE
But Jeneen insisted it would be wrong to force her child not to live as she pleases – because she “never encouraged Luna to be a girl.”
Now, Luna’s classmates are “accepting” of her choices, Jeneen said – giving her an “overwhelming” sense of relief.
But Jeneen still needs to handle “horrific” online comments about the parents of trans children – including some that said they “should be killed.”
Jeneen added: “I know she will encounter comments as she grows up, hated for something she didn’t choose, but I can either have a dead son or a happy, confident daughter.”
MOST READ IN FABULOUS
Luna now attends gender clinic appointments where she is encouraged to explore her identity.
And once she hits puberty she will be able to chose if she wants to take hormone blockers and medication to change her body.
Jeneen added: “It will be her decision, and hers only.”
- Mermaids supports transgender children, teens and families. Helpline: 0808 8010400, Monday-Friday, 9am to 9pm
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