The first transgender family in Great Britain where father was born as a woman and his little girl started to live as a child
The photo below does not look much like many images of a loving couple with their young daughter, but on closer inspection it appears that there is nothing special about this portrait.
For five-year-old Jayden Rogers – wearing her favorite dress and sparkling shoes for her mother, Jody – a boy was born. And Greg, the young, bearded man who was Jayden's father for the past three years, was born like a girl.
They are believed to be the first transgender family of two generations and Jayden is one of the youngest children in the country to change sex.
Transgender boy Jayden Rogers who is 5 years old wants to be a girl, seen here with mother Jody and her partner Greg Rogers
The couple is aware that there is a fierce debate about the large number of young people choosing sex and after Jayden had been about to live as a girl almost a year ago, they were in the middle of their own harrowing battle.
Because although Jayden's teachers, friends and most of their neighbors have accepted the child's gender transition, others have launched an online abuse campaign around the unfounded claim that the parents somehow had their child tempted to become a girl.
The nightmare began with an anonymous complaint to social services of a resident who saw Jayden playing in girls' clothes outside the parental home and accused the couple of child abuse. Amazingly enough, although the municipal officials who investigated the claims found the Rogers to be a happy, loving family, the couple said it was proposed to leave the area to solve the problem.
They refused to be angry but have since suffered a barrage of online insults from anonymous trolls, who maintain that because Greg has changed sex, he must have forced Jayden to do the same.
Today, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Greg, 27 and Jody, 21 – living in the small Scottish town of Shotts, North Lanarkshire – decided to speak out against their critics.
The family has suffered from a campaign of online abuse aimed at the unfounded claim that the parents somehow had persuaded their child to become a girl
Greg changed sex at the age of 16. He has removed his breasts, but has yet to undergo a reassignment operation at his reproductive organs and says he is in no hurry to do so because the current procedures have only a success rate of 60 percent.
He said: & # 39; We have not encouraged Jayden to do this despite what people think, and we are hurt by the suggestion.
& # 39; She has no idea that I am transgender. After I have experienced this myself, I have conflicting emotions about her that she no longer wants to be a boy. It is not an easy life. People will always judge you and I do not think there is one transgender person on the planet who would push that on a child.
We can not improve society, but we can help Jayden to be happy with who she is. We do not encourage it. We even buy clothes from boys and girls to give her the option and we have regular conversations with her, emphasizing that if she wants to become a boy again, we will always love her. It is not something that I had chosen for myself and certainly not something that I would choose for my child, but she is now so much happier. & # 39;
The couple – who are not married but share the same last name – say at first that they thought that their son's interest in being a girl was only a phase that would pass by & # 39 ;, but that she was Jayden from his fourth year onwards, to remain a girl because of her mental well-being.
Jayden Rogers, who is 5 years old, wants to be a girl
The social workers of North Lanarkshire Council understand the situation, but so far it was happy that Jayden stayed with her family.
Greg said: "Social workers can see that Jayden is well taken care of and have no other concerns than to suggest that we are considering going home because of prejudices from some people in the area.
Some parents have even told their daughters not to play with Jayden because she is really a boy. But we refuse to move because the vast majority of our community has no problems with us and is supportive.
& # 39; It has reopened old wounds. Most people do not know my gender identity. They just know me as a man, and that's how I like it.
& # 39; It should not be a problem anymore. When I first passed at the age of 16, my parents rejected me and I had to live with my grandmother for a while. I tried to fight my feelings, but I was not gay, I always knew I was in the wrong body.
I went through horrible amounts of abuse and was beaten in the street, so I would never leave a child in a similar situation. We tell Jayden that it is fine to be different and it is other people who have the problem, not they. & # 39;
Jayden seemed content with her as a toddler. However, she was partially born with deafness and could not communicate her feelings. Only after the operation, 11 months ago, she corrected her interrogation that she could tell her parents that she wanted to become a girl.
Greg said: "She developed speech and immediately began saying:" I dislike wearing boys' clothing and everything about being a boy ". At first we thought it was probably only a phase, but it has always been consistent since then. She is adamant that she is a girl. & # 39;
Jayden seemed content with her as a toddler. However, she was partially born with deafness and could not communicate her feelings. Only after the operation, 11 months ago, she corrected her interrogation that she could tell her parents that she wanted to become a girl
For Jody, a heterosexual university student, the transition has had a profound effect on her as the biological mother of Jayden. To begin with, she ignored her child's requests, hoping it was only a phase before she finally agreed. She said: & # 39; I was naive. I did not think that a child could be a transgender person and it is not until now, after talking to other parents in our situation, that we realize that it is more common than everyone thinks.
& # 39; I had a son one moment and the other a daughter. It probably took six months to accept that it was what Jayden really wanted. But for me it was a grieving process. I miss having a son and, as a baby, Jayden looked so much like a boy.
I'm now looking back at photos from him, in his little suits, and it's like a different person.
& # 39; I am never a & # 39; girls' girl, but Jayden is, and I've had to learn to do her hair and nails.
I never had to worry before, because when she was a boy she just had a short back and sides. Luckily her name was unisex, otherwise she would have had to change it, but I still get confused by pronouns and call her "he" instead of "she". Jayden is really annoyed with me. & # 39;
One of the most controversial issues at the center of the transgender debate is the increasing number of children receiving hormone medicines that can have irreversible effects.
Both the nursery and Jayden's school have been incredibly supportive, say her parents, to the point that the headmaster has invited an LGBT expert to meet staff
Doctors still know very little about the long-term effects of taking adolescent inhibitors for a longer period and have claimed that there is anecdotal data & # 39; are related to osteoporosis.
Youngsters who are prescribed blockers are likely to be on cross sex & # 39; hormones when they are 16 years old. Boys get estrogen and girls start with testosterone. The effects of this drug are irreversible and can result in lifelong effects & # 39; have for the users.
Jody said: "Of course I care for the future. I am really worried because she has to undergo hormonal blockers when she is older if she wants to stay a girl. People have actually asked us if she has already undergone the operation on her lower half, which is ridiculous. She is five!
"Others have told me that I should force Jayden to be a boy and not admit because she will be bullied. But she was bullied anyway because she was always flamboyant. & # 39;
She added: "This is all about a boy who wears a dress and the prejudices of some people. If it was a girl with short hair and training pants, nobody would worry. & # 39;
Sitting next to her mother, proudly showing off her Yo-kai Watch and Pokemon coloring book, says Jayde with the ponytail: "I do not like it when people say that I am a boy. It makes me sad. I like to be a girl. & # 39;
Nearby is the picture book My Princess Boy, written by author Cheryl Kilodavis about her son, Dyson, whose self-expression does not match stereotyped gender roles. One of the ways he expresses himself is wearing girl's clothing.
Every day Jayden gets the choice – boy or girl uniform? And every day she makes the same decision
Greg added: "We received professional advice because we had no idea what to do, since Jayden was only four years old when it started. We contacted our health visitors, our doctor, the school, who all offered help. Health visitors have said that we should give Jayden the choice and every morning for almost a year she chooses girls' clothes. When she went to school last August, we even spent a small fortune on buying two school uniforms – a boy and a girl – so she had an option. She chose the girl.
& # 39; We've taken all the guidelines to basically let Jayden choose, and that's why the criticism was hard to take. & # 39;
Both Jayden's nursery school and school were incredibly supportive, say her parents, to the point that the school director invited an LGBT expert to meet staff who also spoke with her students at the broader issue meeting.
Greg said: & # 39; As far as we are concerned, it is society that tries to sexualize how Jayden presents himself. She is so young and the only thing she wants to do is wear girl clothes, simply and simply. She had no idea until another child – told by their parent – had been obsessed with school and said she could not be a girl because she had a "willy".
& # 39; Jayden was angry. Until that time she did not know that boys and girls had different "bits". People make it too complicated and try to turn it into something grave when it is only a five-year-old who wants to be himself. & # 39;
"People make it too complicated and try to turn it into something nasty when it is only a five-year-old who wants to be himself", says Greg
Looking back at family photos, Greg, who met Jody at an online dating service, says the early signs of Jayden's desire to be a girl there.
SHE always attracted girls, and while her contemporaries were busy with rough games, she was happiest dressed as Princess Anna of the animated film Frozen.
The couple contacted the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to have Jayden assessed, but was told that the young person had no mental health problems, only a matter of gender.
Jayden is now on the waiting list for the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow, who offers a Young People & # 39; s Gender Service. Too young for medication or hormonal treatment, she will receive guidance in the coming years.
Greg said: "Because of her young age, Jayden has been counseling for some time to investigate who she is. The most important thing is to make sure she is happy when she wants to become a girl completely. We do not want a child with mental health problems because she has been told she can not be who she wants to be. I know how that rejection is and we do not want it for her. & # 39;
He adds: "Whatever the outcome, we will support her through it and if she is old enough to understand it, I will finally tell her about me. In the meantime, we want to do the best for Jayden. & # 39;