A trans man has opened up about how before he transitioned, and when he was a child himself, he used to pose as a boy in order to chat to girls.
A transgender man, who posed as a boy to flirt with girls on the internet before he transitioned has spoken about his torment at being trapped in the wrong body.
Jaye Wright, 20, confessed to pretending to be a boy on internet forums and chatting to girls, claiming it was the only time he felt like himself.
The office worker was so ashamed of his female form he failed to tell his mum he had started his period for three years.
Jaye, of Gosport, Hampshire, said: “I was talking to girls, pretending to be a boy called Jaye. I used all my own pictures, but I was lying about my gender.
“I feel really bad and really guilty about it.
“It made me feel normal, like I wasn’t hiding anything, which is quite ironic.”
Wright, who came out as transgender at 18, had always felt like one of the boys.
His mum, Claire Dimmick, 43, an office worker, would buy him boys’ clothes, like Buzz Lightyear trainers – a character from the Toy Story franchise -and boys’ jeans and t-shirts.
From the age of five,Wright felt out of place with the girls in his class and preferred to play with boys.
He was cruelly teased by his classmates, and was called an ‘Action Girl’ after he brought an Action Man lunch box to school.
“It’s different to being a tomboy,” Jaye explained.
“You have your own image of yourself and it’s not what you see in the mirror.
He continued: “If I close my eyes I see myself as a big man. When I look in the mirror I see it’s not me.
“It’s like I’m wearing a different skin or a mascot suit.”
Jaye was so distraught at being a girl, he even hid his puberty from his mum, who divorced his delivery company employee dad, Jason, when he was six.
He began stealing tampons and sanitary towels from his mum and older sister Jasmine, 24, at the age of nine when he began menstruating.
When he was 12, he finally confessed he had been pinching the tampons, after his mum questioned his dwindling supplies.
“I felt embarrassed by my period. Mum didn’t understand why I wanted to keep it a secret,” said Jaye.
“Before I started puberty it was easy to pretend I was a boy, but after I developed breasts I couldn’t hide it.”
He has a legacy of back pain, from years of slouching, in a bid to look flat-chested.
The only relief Jaye had was the internet and a gaggle of girls, who he befriended, while posing as a boy called Jaye – his middle name.
“I was 15 and it was the first time I felt I was me,” said Jaye.
“Instead of going out with my friends after school I would rush home and talk to all the girls I met.
He continued: “It felt more comfortable for me being called ‘he’ instead of ‘she.’”
After confessing his lies, Jaye’s mum forbade him from doing it again, though.
And, several years later, he admitted everything to one of the girls who he had kept in contact with.
Sympathetic, they soon became best friends.
Finally, at 18, Jaye joined a local LGBT youth group and realised he was transgender.
He subsequently came out to his friends and family on Facebook, to overwhelming support.
After legally changing his name from to Jaye, and living as a male, he has now taken steps to start treatment.
He has been referred to the Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross hospital, which has a six-month waiting list.
He even has a girlfriend, shop assistant Grace Bigginton, 18, and couldn’t be happier in his personal life.
But he says he won’t be content until he has a mastectomy to remove his breasts.
He said: “I’ve been wearing a binder for three years and its absolute agony.
“I used to love swimming but I can’t bear to take my top off now or even look at myself naked.”