A transgender teen who was born a girl is now living as a boy – while remaining at a top all-GIRLS school.
Brave Jordan Morgan, 13, was born a girl called Elizabeth, or Beth for short, but last year told his mother Diane he was not comfortable living as a female.
Now, with the support of his mother, teachers and fellow pupils he is attending Gloucester High School for Girls – one of Britain’s top grammar schools – as a boy.
Jordan is the only ‘male’ out of more than 550 girls in the pre-sixth form at the high-achieving, selective school.
Teachers and classmates are using his chosen name and he is campaigning for a change in the rules so he can wear trousers instead of a skirt.
Plucky Jordan said he hoped he would inspire other transgender teens to follow his example.
He said: “I’m transgender – I identify more as male. I feel quite strongly that being a boy is the right thing for me.
“It kind of clicked for me and I finally feel a lot more comfortable. I’m trying to make things happen because it makes things easier for others in this situation.
“I’m not the first transgender person who will be going to schools and I won’t be the last. My friends have been accepting and many of my friends are LGBT.
“There are still a lot of misconceptions about transgender issues and I do get a lot of questions asked.”
Jordan’s family, from Gloucester, had no inkling he felt different from many other teenagers until he confessed he thought he might be a lesbian early last year.
But around October time, he told him mum Diane, 45, that he was transgender and wanted to become a boy and chose the name ‘Jordan’ in November.
He returned to school as Jordan after the Christmas break, and now friends, family and teachers refer to the teenager as ‘him’ and ‘he’ instead of ‘she’.
Mum-of-one Diane admits it was hard at first – and she initially “grieved” for the daughter she thought she would raise – but said she is extremely proud of him.
NHS worker Diane said: “He now says looking back on it that he felt different to other girls quite a long time ago but the primary school he went to was so inclusive, it wasn’t such a difference.
“He wore trousers every day to primary school and played football with the boys – like any other girls who wanted to – but it wasn’t until secondary school that he started to think ‘I don’t quite fit’.
“When Jordan told me it came out of the blue and when he told me it was quite a shock.
“I think I’ve had to go through some grieving for the parenting I thought I’d be doing and for the child I thought I would be parenting, a girl.
“I feel Jordan will face challenges in the future which will be tough.
“Being a teenager is hard enough today, especially with social media, but with the transgender aspect as well it makes it especially difficult.
“Jordan is able to see what’s important and what’s not. At school it’s been important to him that his name has been changed.”
She added: “For me, shock and grief were the first reactions.
“I had always thought that I’d be parenting a girl, going through the highs and lows of puberty and adolescence with a female, growing a woman.
“Finding out this was not the case was, honestly, bewildering.
“For 13 years I had lived with my thoughts and expectations and, in the course of one conversation, all that changed.
“So, I took some time, wept, stormed, railed at the universe and, at times, blamed myself for things I had and hadn’t done that may have made this situation come about.
“Now, slowly, with patience, acceptance is starting to make its way in.
“My child still has ‘the heart you brought into this world, the same one as when you were born’.
“My child remains funny, kind, wise, compassionate, cheeky, loving, brave, creative – all qualities that are still there, whether he chooses to live as male or female.
“So, we are not on the path that I’d expected but we are still here. Still living. Closer, stronger. I’m proud of how my child has the courage to be himself.
“My job is to stand alongside him, help him negotiate the adult world when and as he needs my help.
“My role is also to let him be himself, take responsibility and control of his life and his choices.
“My hope is that I have helped him to be strong enough to face whatever life brings, to be himself and love with a wide open heart.”
Jordan hopes for a change in the uniform policy to allow pupils in years seven to 11 to wear trousers, and his family has raised the issue with governors.
Jordan said: “It’s something that will benefit me in my life and hopefully will benefit others coming after me.
“I feel a lot happier being a boy.
“It could have been a lot worse. I’m lucky to be in the position I’m in with my mum and lots of support.”
Diane added: “It does make him feel more comfortable wearing trousers.
“One of the reasons we chose the High School for Girls is because it’s a traditional grammar school and that comes with good qualities which we value.
“And the school has tried to be accommodating.”
Jordan visited his GP late last year, and is awaiting an appointment at London’s Tavistock Clinic – a service for young people with gender identity issues.
It is understood the family will discuss ongoing treatment such as potential hormone therapy and surgery, to decide the best approach for Jordan.
Headteacher Eva Sawicka and her staff are looking closely at transgender guidance for schools and are working with Jordan and his family.
The selective school currently has around 800 pupils, with a mixed sixth form and last year 98 per cent of girls got five top grades at GCSE level.