By Dan Coles
A nine-year-old who decided she wanted to be a girl aged seven is now living as a female full time – after telling her parents she was born in the wrong body.
Autumn Norris, formerly known as Anthony, has transitioned at home and at school – wearing girls’ clothes, hair extensions, makeup, nail varnish and now only responding to her female name.
The year five pupil, from Telford, Shrops, was taking a bath two years ago when she first told mum Fran Norris, 36, a tattoo artist, she felt she was actually a girl.
Since then, the youngster has transitioned completely – going from doubling as Anthony at school and Autumn at home to becoming Autumn full time – and has never looked back.
Mum-of-three Fran said: “Autumn was always been very feminine when she was Anthony.
“Her choice of activities and toys were all things that were marketed at young females.
“Anthony would ask to have his nails painted or have his makeup done, but I just thought he was curious and experimenting or enjoyed role play – I didn’t think he was gender aware.
“So when Anthony finally approached me, everything fell into place – it all made sense.
“Now we do everything any mother and daughter would do.
“The first thing Autumn wanted to do was go shopping with me, and she loves everything that comes with being female.
“After having three boys, it’s nice to go shopping with my daughter.
“She’s so much happier now, she can be who she wants to be and she loves it, her behaviour has gotten better ever since the change.
“I want other parents to know that if their child is going through this, they’re not alone and it can be a beautiful thing.”
During the Easter holidays in 2017, Autumn decided she wanted to be a girl after coming home from a weekend with dad Lloyd Norris, 39.
Fran and Lloyd decided to let her continue as a girl for the Easter holidays, presuming it might just be that she wanted to role play.
But when it became clear it wasn’t role play at the end of the holidays, they ordered her a natural-looking wig and she decided to change her name to Autumn at home.
At the same time, the couple were having meetings with Autumn’s school about her bad behaviour – which they now think was brought on from the stress of her identifying as female at home but male at school.
When the school said if Anthony wanted to come back the following term as Autumn they would support it, Fran said Autumn said yes ‘before they have even finished the sentence’.
Since then, the nine-year-old has become Autumn full-time with her family, friends and classmates with her school formally changing her name and gender on their files.
Now Fran and Lloyd, who are on excellent terms, raise their son as their daughter and enjoy everything that comes with it – with Autumn even discussing gender reassignment surgery and becoming a mother in future with her parents.
Fran said: “When Autumn first spoke to me, she got out of the bath and said she was not a boy any more, she was a girl.
“If anyone comes out with something so life changing it’s always going to come as a shock, so I just gave Autumn a huge hug and was as open and honest as I could be.
“She said she didn’t like the fact she had a penis and should not have been born with one, but I told her it would be a long time in the future that anything like that could change.
“When she said she wanted to be a mum someday and I told her she wouldn’t be able to give birth to a baby, she started to well up.
“But after a little cry, she said it’s okay because she would adopt all the children that other people don’t want.
“When it comes to big questions, she was so mature – she has such a lovely way of turning a negative into a positive.”
Fran is now completing a book about her experience raising a transgender child, set to be released in summer 2019, which will offer parents an insight into the positives and negatives and helping to break taboos.
Lloyd added: “I think everyone should have the right to be who they want to be.
“Why should we say she has to be that person?
“I don’t care at all about colour, creed, religion, anything – if the child wants to be female or a male, that’s up to them.
“If you’ve been told it’s wrong that’s what you’ll think, but opinions would be different if these prejudices weren’t taught.”