Watch: Proud parents on raising their brave transgender 5-year-old
The parents of a five-year-old transgender child in America have spoken of their pride and acceptance of their son’s ‘brave’ battle to live his life as a boy.
Mimi and Joe Lemay said that they initially hoped Jacob’s “obsession with being a boy would go away”.
However, after Jacob’s continued insistence that he was in fact a boy, they decided to seek medical advice – which ultimately led to them letting him live his life the “the way he wanted to”.
The parents told NBC News: “Her need to play more boy roles, her need to be seen and spoken to as a boy at home became more persistent and very consistent.
“Those are the hallmarks of a possibly transgender child: consistence, persistence, and insistence.”
Although the parents say that any medical procedures are a ‘long way off’, they said they felt that allowing Jacob to live his life as a boy was the right decision the whole family, with his mother saying: “A mother’s heart knows when her child is suffering.”
“Ultimately, Jacob has made this decision in his mind and in his heart. It is up to us if we accept that or not.”
After deciding to allow Jacob to live as a boy, he worried that he couldn’t live his new identity at his current school.
Mr Lamay said: “We asked him, ‘what if we take you to another school and everyone will know you as a boy from the beginning?’ He agreed, saying, ‘I want to be a boy always. I want to be a boy named Jacob.'”
Dr Michelle Frocier, a leading expert of gender studies at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rhode Island, added: “The biggest thing a parent can do wrong is nothing.
“There is a whole host of bad health outcomes, both physical and psychiatric,” she continued, listing depression, anxiety and self harm as just some of the issues that can develop if a child isn’t allowed to live in the gender role they most associate with.
A recent report claimed that American support for the trans community is the highest it has ever been, with over 65% of people saying the view trans people as ‘favourable’.