4 Year Old Boy Diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder

A little four year old boy lives as a girl after telling his parents he was a girl. And then some nutty doctor backed him up.

With his blonde pigtails and purple tutu, Zach Avery, now five, has been living as a girl for more than a year - after he first refused to live as a boy when he turned three.

Little Zach was just three when he began refusing to live as a boy, instead choosing to wear pink dresses and ribbons in his long, blonde hair - because he has Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

And the primary school he attends in Essex has even changed the kids' toilets to gender-neutral Unisex in support of Zach since his official diagnosis last year, aged four.

Zach is one of the youngest in Britain ever to be diagnosed with GID - meaning he feels like he's a girl trapped in a boy's body.

Mum Theresa Avery, 32, said Zach used to be a 'normal' little boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine, but suddenly at the end of 2010, he decided he wanted to live as a girl.

He became obsessed with the girly kids' TV character Dora the Explorer and started dressing in girls clothing.

Parents Theresa and Darren Avery, 41, became worried by Zach's behaviour and took him to the doctors.

After numerous consultations and observations, he was officially diagnosed by NHS specialists with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), making Zach one of the youngest affected children in the UK.

Mum-of-four Theresa said: "He just turned round to me one day when he was three and said: 'Mummy, I'm a girl'. I assumed he was just going through a phase and just left it at that.

"But then it got serious and he would become upset if anyone referred to him as a boy.

"He used to cry and try to cut off his willy out of frustration."
Oh boy. Look, my four year old thought she was Batman for a few months. I didn't sign her up for the Justice League. She just wore the mask and jumped around on the couch for about a year.

The thing I fear is that something that's just a faze for the kid is getting cemented into the little boy's head for the rest of his life. I would just love to know if these doctors ever turn someone away and just say, "He's just a dopey kid who doesn't even know how to tie his shoes or cross the street so let's not take every thought that enters his pretty little head as a symptom of a larger problem."

I bet at some point the doctors were just darn pleased that they'd get to diagnose the youngest kids with this Gender Identity Disorder. And hey, one last thing. How long until someone sues the doctors to get them to stop calling it a "disorder?"

Wouldn't that be perfect? This kid grows up and turns around and sues the doctor for hurting his esteem by calling it a "disorder." That'll teach 'em.


  1. "He used to cry and try to cut off his willy out of frustration."

    Um. Wow. That seems a bit...unhealthy. Either way (no pun intended) poor kid. Awful.

  2. I would like to know where he was getting his supply of girl clothes to dress in?

  3. Doctor once told me that for little children going in and out of these things is normal. Only when they become adults does it become abnormal. A teaching doctor, he once said to me that it is normal to be abnormal in an abnormal situation. And it made sense to me.

  4. first time commenterFebruary 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    I usually agree with what you write but this time I just had to chime in. Based just on what the mother reported about the child attempting to "cut off his willy out of frustration", I'd say this is more than just a simple matter of a "dopey kid" and cannot be fairly compared to your daughter pretending she was Batman. I'm not an expert but I do believe there are real psychological problems or disorders that exist, even in children. Even if we don't like how a supposed expert labeled the problem and treated it, it's callous to dismiss the problem as just a dopey kid in a faze. Poor child and poor mother.

  5. Um, for him to "cut off his willy" he had to be SEEING women naked a lot. There is obviously something else going on here. My daughter has told me, "I am not a girl" because she has two older brothers. I am certainly not going to tell her, oh yeah, you're a boy. My niece said her "thingy" was missing because she saw her brother naked. It doesn't mean we don't correct them and tell them the TRUTH. RIDICULOUS!!!!! The fact that he wanted to cut it off would make me think he was being abused by Naked Women. It is the ADULTS who are messed up not the child.
    Mark 9:42 But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.

  6. He is the youngest of 4. How many sisters does he have. Tell him the truth people, it isn't that hard.

  7. Being frustrated enough to try to cut off his penis sounds a bit more like a little kid pitchin' a fit, knowing if he escalates the violence enough, mom will give him what he wants. Can we say "manipulation"?

    I have a child that can vomit at will if she doesn't get what she wants and it becomes worse if she is actually crying when she decides she wants to lose control. Does it mean I give in to her tantrum? Nope.

    Parents are too afraid to tell a child "Um, no, you're wrong. You see those boy parts? You're a boy."

  8. Whoa - what a load of judgement on this family. Kids with this disorder really do try to cut themselves and are deeply and persistently offended if they are known by their true gender. Often, their parents have strong gender identities and this causes them great suffering. They placate the child because to do otherwise causes great mental suffering. Poor family and poor kid.

    Why are we so quick to blame these parents? Maybe its because we are afraid of the astonishing and unfair mistakes that nature can make, and what suffering comes about because of them. It's just easier to blame it on bad parenting, which must be pure heartbreak for the parents who love this child dearly.

    I know it's horrible, but this thing really exists. Mother nature is a mad scientist.

  9. Hey Blackrep,
    If Mother Nature in her mad science made him a boy, then shouldn't there be moroe encouragement to make sure Zach understands his purpose as a male in this world? Yes, there is a disordered nature here, and it comes from a human reaction to what God intended. Instead of allowing the child to feed into a psychosis, wouldn't it be better to try to affirm his sexuality?

  10. PattyinCT: I heartily agree. The best advice, affirm his sexuality and love him for who he is.

  11. If the child's parents refuse to accept his actual sex and cooperate in his fantasy world, they show disrespect for the person he really is, which can only be bad for their son, and make him dislike his body, etc. Besides, which, they ought to be looking at the cause(s) of his behaviour, so that the problem can be resolved, not suppressed.

  12. It occurs to me that maybe these parents should be trying to figure out what exactly changed here. You don't go from being a normal boy or girl to the opposite over night. He obviously had male features, tendencies, etc to begin with, so what happened to change that? The first thing that comes to my mind is trauma of some sort. Maybe sexual abuse?

  13. Sexual abuse was the first thing I thought of when they said he would get so angry he'd threaten to cut off his penis. Children being sexually abused can have intense hatred and anger towards their genitals. He might believe that if he were a girl, he wouldn't be abused. I know this is conjecture, but it seems more likely than GID.

  14. disgruntled anonymousFebruary 21, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    "he has a gender identity disorder". Duh! he thinks he's a girl! There's his disorder right there!

  15. I knew a child who also tried to cut his penis, turns out there was issues with his male role model. Maybe that should be investigated.

    I also have issue with pigeon-holing kids into this sort of sexual-gender identity so early in life. It pains me that we have so sexualized our culture that we feel compelled to sexualize absolutely everything, even childhood, to the degree demonstrated here.

  16. But, what if the sexuality you want the child to "affirm" simply isn't there? I would like to challenge you to think more deeply about sexuality than plumbing. Maybe some research on Gender Identity Disorder would be appropriate, rather than just assuming the child was abused or unloved or didn't have good role models.

    Mother Nature and her mad science made him a boy on the outside. How can we, who have just begun to plumb the depths of her complexity, be assured of total sexual identity just because we see a male or female body? We can't. So, until we can, we do not leave a child in protracted, suicidal and self-injuring suffering. We give therapy, we try to integrate new ways of thinking through cognitive discipline, we wait and see, but our default position should be not to blame people for what might be a real developmental error. God is the author of nature, to be sure, but its order is not perfect. It is fallen, and it is up to our wits and God's grace to make it whole again.

  17. It's phase, not faze.

    Shows how much thought you put into what you write. Comparing a child who tries to cut off his penis with a girl pretending to be batman (I assume your assertion that she actually thought she was batman for four months was an exaggeration)....seriously?

  18. Yeah, I have to agree with the more rational commenters. This is a sad, but very real phenomenon that most likely has to do with the amount of hormones the child received in the womb. This is as real as hermaphrodites; people born with both sets of genitals/ or male external/female internal. These are real things/ocurrences and not some sort of homosexual agenda. By simply dismissing such cases as "dopey kids" is irresponsible, unchristian and just plain stupid.

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