An eight-year-old has become the “happiest girl in the world” after saying goodbye to being a boy.
Tom Dyason, eight, from West Yorkshire , went to school last term and spent most days crying in the playground because he had no friends.
Now after starting Year Four as Tegen she now wakes up every day smiling, before heading off to school with her long blonde hair in bunches, dressed in her smart blue uniform jumper, black skirt and tights.
And she says she has now made a million friends.
Wearing a “Dream big, sparkle more” glitter top, the West Yorkshire lass giggles in delight as she talks about her first day at school as a girl.
She told The Mirror : “I am a million per cent happy. I was so excited about going to school as Tegen, I was up at 3.45am and my uniform was hanging up in my room.
“But when my mum started doing my hair in bunches I started crying because I got scared and worried I’d get bullied.
“Then in my head I thought: ‘You know what! I’m just going to go to school and blow my mind off!”
But when she arrived Tegan had a wobble as she remembered Tom and how “he would cry every day” in the playground.
“But then I walked through the gates and I thought ‘I’m just going to go for it’,” she said.
It was a massive day for mum Michelle, whose 11-year-old son Josh was starting secondary school.
She told how courage nearly failed herself and her daughter at the school gate. She admits to feeling physically sick, squeezing Tegen’s hand to comfort her.
But she said they needn’t have worried: “It was like, ‘It’s Tegan, the new girl in school...Hiya’. The kids didn’t bat an eyelid.”
One mum even asked Michelle,: “Where’s Tom?’
When Tegen got to class, one girl leaned over and whispered to her: “You look nicer this year”
The parents of children in her class had been sent a letter from the school to tell them a little boy was coming back as a little girl.
Tegen, playing with her ponytail to make it tighter, adds: “Before it made me feel sick to put a boy’s uniform on and at school they called me ‘gay’
and a Barbie girl. I told them I wasn’t gay – I was a girl. But they just said ‘being a girl is gay!’”
Now proudly wearing a Princess tiara she beams and announces in glee: “Life is really amazing as a girl and I’m so happy.”
Talking about her decision to become a girl, she hugs her unicorn teddy called Lily and explains: “For as long as I remember I’ve felt trapped in a boy’s body.
“Everything is better as a girl. I even feel smarter.”
Michelle, who split from the children’s dad three years ago, said she wanted to share Tegen’s story to show parents it is “not just a phase”.
She told how Tegen had wanted to wear girl’s clothes since she was three and has been transgender since she was six.
“Putting a boy’s uniform on for school broke her,’ said Mum: “She wanted to play with the girls. She didn’t want to play rough and tumble.
“She used to walk around with a tea-towel on her head pretending it was hair.
“In all honesty. when I was pregnant. I thought I was carrying a girl. I had the scan at 20 weeks to say it was a boy and I was shocked, but I was happy with two boys.
“As soon as he could he played with my makeup and jewellery.
“I remember when Tom talked into a plastic phone saying he was going to marry One Direction. I used to laugh thinking ‘this kid’s more girly than me!’
“Then there was the tantrum in Asda when he was three over a little summer dress with big strawberries on that he wanted.
“Then every Halloween Tom always wanted to be a witch, as it was the only time he could go outside dressed as a girl.
“He started nursery at four, walked in and put a princess dress on from the fancy dress box. I just stood there slightly embarrassed.
“Last year Tom went to a Halloween disco dressed as a girl and won best dressed girl.
“Then on World Book Day he went as Rapunzel. I had to let him otherwise he’d flatly refuse to go to school.”
But then, early last year, she received a phone call from school to say that Tegen (then Tom) was distressed because someone had called her gay.
Michelle said: “She broke down and said, ‘I’m not gay, I want to be a girl.’
“I realised then, it’s not just a phase, it’s real, very real”
Michelle took her daughter, then aged seven, to the doctor’s, where she was referred to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s gender identity clinic in Leeds.
“It sort of snowballed from there,” said the mum.”She was so adamant she was a girl.”
Tegen’s first appointment was in August last year. And in April this year, the youngster started living “full-time as a girl” at home and in public.
“It’s a very lengthy process with a child psychologist,” said Michelle who said it was decided that September was when Tegen would enter school as a girl.
She added that the school has dealt with her daughter’s situation amazingly, with some teachers even having taken courses.
“Tegen is in a watch and wait process. Nothing is medically done, it’s a matter of watching her live her life as a girl,” said Michelle.
“Josh took it better than me, he’s always seen her as his little sister.
They love each other to bits and he’s dead proud of her.”
Josh said:“It made me sad that Tegen would not be happy because she couldn’t be who she really is. She’d always come crying to me and my friends.
“I would rather she was my sister than my brother. My brother was annoying but my sister isn’t. ”
Michelle admits it has not all been plain sailing: “I sobbed and sobbed in the playground on the last day she was Tom.
“At first I felt as if I was losing a son” she explained.
“Watching Tegen going to school on her first day as a girl was very emotional. I had a sense of dread and fear. But what happened was incredible. She was accepted instantly.”
The mum, said: “Some people might think she’s not old enough to make the decision and ask if it’s the right thing to do.
“But when she goes to the clinic and they tell her at any time you could turn back to being a boy, she cries in fear, thinking they’re going to make her a boy again.
“It’s a long, long process...there’s no medical intervention until she hits puberty. People need to understand this is not just a phase that they’ll get over – this is her life”
Michelle says they have received “amazing” support from her school and her parents, with granny embracing the change and knitting Tegen mermaid blankets.
“The day Tom took off the school uniform he was gone for good,” said Michelle. “I don’t remember Tom now. It’s really bizarre.
“Now she’s my wonderful daughter. My little diva.”
And Tegen’s message to anyone who feels as she does: “I used to feel lonely but not any more.
“Just go for it because it’s you who wants to be someone, and you can be.”