‘Not just a tomboy’ – story in That’s Life magazine…
Rachel and son Kai have now appeared in TWO national newspapers and TWO magazines…
After their inspirational story appeared in The Sun and The Daily Mail and then Woman magazine, I am delighted to announce that Rachel Windsor and son Kai have recently appeared over two pages of That’s Life!
Like many people to come to Featureworld to gain awareness and sell a story, Rachel was nervous when I first discussed her story with her.
As a mother, her main concern was that the story would be written accurately and sympathetically.
Rachel realised when Kai – who was born a girl – was very young, that he was unhappy living as a female.
It was more than just being a tomboy, Kai really wanted to live as a boy.
As I always say to interviewees coming to Featureworld to discuss their story, people simply would not continue to do features if they were not happy with their first one! And Rachel and Kai are a very good example of that as not only did they appear in two national newspapers but two magazines!
Is your daughter a tomboy? If you have a real-life story about your child you would like to share, then do contact me using the form to the right of this page >>>
If you missed their amazing story, you can catch up with it here…
More than a tomboy…
By Alison Smith-Squire
Giving a final almighty push, I heard my baby boy cry. It had been a wonderful eight-hour home birth. Now I couldn’t wait to scoop my new son into my arms and give him a first cuddle.
Only… I looked down at the baby laid on my chest and suddenly realised it was a girl.
All through my pregnancy I’d believed I was having a little boy. After all the pregnancy had been completely different from my first with my daughter Jasmine, now 16 from a previous relationship.
My partner and I were so sure it was a boy we hadn’t even checked on a scan. I’d even been looking at blue clothes and chosen the name Kai.
Yet, looking back I now believe my maternal instincts I’d given birth to a son were correct. Because Incredibly by the time my daughter was three, she’d already decided herself she was really a boy – making a beeline for traditional male toys. By the age of four she refused to wear dresses.
At six she – who these days I always refer to as he – wanted her hair cut short and began to fancy girls. And by nine she was undergoing counselling at primary school.
Now aged ten Kaya lives as Kai and as he kicks a ball round the park with his mates, is like any typical little boy.
But back then when I thought I’d had a daughter, I wasn’t disappointed. Picking up my new daughter, I kissed her face. She was beautiful.
‘You’re not a Kai,’ I said, ‘but you are a beautiful Kaya.”
From then on like any proud mum with a gorgeous little daughter, I dressed Kaya in pink clothes.
Being a very feminine person myself, I adored buying Kaya dresses, buying her lots of dolls. Meanwhile as her blonde hair grew, I combed it into pigtails.
By the time Kaya was two and a half I’d split with her dad.
And it was around then I noticed Kaya was showing strong male preferences.
Now I look back and see then Kaya knew she was a boy. She had no interest in dolls, preferring to play with a football. And when we were out she’d head straight for the boy’s section in shops, asking for Spiderman toys.
Aged four, Kaya battled against wearing the pink clothes I adored. But I thought nothing of it. I just thought my daughter was a tomboy. At that time I’d never even heard of any child having gender issues.
Nevertheless, Kaya’s preferences for all –boy clothes led to me going to the primary school and requesting she should be allowed to wear shorts.
Kai was about five and it was the summer. The uniform was a pretty yellow gingham dress but she just would not be seen in it. It became such a problem that in the end I went to the school and they said it was fine for her to wear shorts.
By the age of seven Kaya wanted her hair cut shorter. I enjoyed tying up her hair so we compromised with a bob. But she continued to nag me for shorter hair. By now I’d read about parents who had a young child with gender issues. And I confided to my sister, Faith, ‘If that happened to me I didn’t know how I’d cope.’”
Then aged eight, Kaya’s grades at school were suffering and I was called in to meet with staff to discuss why.
Kai always had lots of girlfriends and boyfriends. But I’d also noticed around girls she became really shy and would redden. At home she’d even begun to point out girls on TV she thought were pretty. So I had already thought she might be gay, which didn’t worry me.
But worryingly Kaya also begun having aggressive outbursts.
Teachers were also concerned she was unhappy but no-one could understand why – and it was then they suggested Kaya met with a counsellor.
At first I was horrified, as Kaya seemed too young for any sort of counselling. But when I met the man he was so kind and lovely I changed my mind.
Within a few weeks of counselling, Kaya’s behaviour and grades improved. And it was then Kaya came out as transgender.
By now I’d watched a parent and a child on TV who was transgender in tears as I realised it was just like Kaya. But I still didn’t want to believe it could happen to my child – all I could think of was the difficulties that would undoubtedly lie ahead.
However, one lazy Sunday morning, Kaya snuggled into bed with me.
I could hear her heart beating fast and I knew she had something to tell me.
She said, “Mum, you’re going to hate me… but I am really a boy.’ It was a very emotional because at that moment everything fell into place. I simply replied, ‘I know”. It was then she pointed to his chest, where breasts had begun to develop, and said: ‘These need to go.’”
I agreed to Kai’s request to no longer refer to him as a ‘she’ and together we researched transgenders on the internet. I wanted him to see he wasn’t alone. Over dinner that night Kaya and I broke the news to sister Jasmine. She wasn’t surprised – she already suspected Kaya – who changed his name to Kai – was transgender.”
I met Kai’s counsellor. But he said he already knew what I was going to tell him. He just wanted Kai to come to the decision himself.
Within days I’d contacted the charity Mermaids for more advice and met with the school head.
I was so worried about what would happen next. But the school couldn’t have been more supportive. As well as starting work to build unisex toilets to make life easier for Kai and other children like him, they immediately sent a letter out to all the parents of children in his year inviting those pupils to a special talk about being transgender. They said from now on Kaya wanted to be known as Kai. The talk was voluntary but every child attended.
Meanwhile, Kai’s grades immediately improved. Once people stopped referring to Kai as a girl and he could just be the little boy he wanted, he was so much happier.
He went to the barbers for the first time to have the proper boy’s haircut he longed for. And in July he was referred to The Tavistock and Portman gender clinic in London.
His tenth birthday in August was like a rebirth as it was his first birthday as a boy. He invited 15 children and everyone sent boy birthday cards. The parents hugged me. The support I’ve had has been fantastic.
Kai is now set to have hormone treatment to put his puberty on hold. The treatment is reversible. If at the age of 16, he wants to complete the full transition to an adult man, he will be offered gender reassignment surgery.
There have been plenty of tears. It is hard to see your child going through such turmoil. But whatever happens I will always be there to support Kai.
And right now it is just a wonderful relief to see him happy in his own skin at last.