‘I’ve been letting him wear girl clothes’
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London - Dressed smartly in their uniforms, they look like any ordinary siblings excited about going to school together.
But all is not quite what it seems. Alfie and Logan Symonds are not brother and sister, but twin boys.
Their mother Emma Symonds said Logan, four, has been convinced he is a girl since he was 18 months old.
Although she thought it was “just a phase”, she has finally realised that wearing dresses and playing with dolls makes him happy.
So she has agreed to let him wear a pinafore to school “to be like all the other girls” for the foreseeable future.
Miss Symonds, 34, a single mother-of-four from Tredworth, Gloucester, said: “Letting Logan wear a pinafore to school was a big step.
“I’ve been letting him live as a girl and wear girls’ clothes since he turned three, and a couple of months ago I agreed he could grow his hair long. During Easter half-term he told me he wanted to wear a dress to school, to be like all the other girls.” The headteacher is understood to be supportive.
Miss Symonds said it was obvious from a young age that Logan was different from non-identical twin Alfie and their brother Charlie, six.
While Alfie was happy to play with cars and trucks, Logan wanted to play with his sister Daisy, 11, and her toys. And at one-and-a-half he was asking to wear dresses.
“He was 18 months old when he first declared he was female,” Miss Symonds said. “I brushed it off, but he kept on telling me he wanted to wear dresses instead of shorts and trousers. I was adamant it was just a phase.
“He started throwing tantrums and becoming aggressive whenever I put him in male clothes.”
Soon afterwards Miss Symonds decided to let her son wear girls’ clothes at home because it improved his behaviour, but Logan grew increasingly unhappy with having to wear boys’ clothing when the family went out in public. Eventually, when he turned three, his mother gave in. Although her family were supportive, others are critical.
“When I take Logan out wearing a dress or nail varnish, we receive negative comments from strangers,” she said.
“It’s hard when people are horrible because you wonder, am I doing the right thing? Am I messing him up for the future?
“But when I see the smile on his face when he’s got a dress on, how can it be wrong?”
Logan has been living publicly as a girl for two years now, and Miss Symonds said he has never been happier. She is reluctant to label him as “transgender” at such a young age and says she will wait before seeking professional advice.
“At the moment he’s happy still being called Logan, and I refer to him as my son, but that may change in the future. I’ll support Logan no matter what.”
Dr Polly Carmichael, director of gender identity at the Tavistock and Portman Clinic in London, said Miss Symonds was being sensible.
“She is letting Logan express his gender in the way he chooses, while keeping options open for the future,” she said.