By MAMAMIA TEAM
This is Emma Hayes.
Emma was born as a boy, Ronan, but when she was only five-years-old, she told her parents that she wanted to dress as a girl. She told her parents that she wanted to live as a girl. She told them she felt like a girl. That she was a girl.
Emma’s parents – Meagan and David, who are now separated – agreed to let her start living life at home as a girl. Megan admits that it was hard at first, saying, “I don’t have a son any more. Um, he’s gone, he’s been gone for a really long time. So I don’t see any of my son in my daughter now, and that’s really, really hard.”
But both parents have been supportive of Emma’s identity, which might have something to do with how clearly unhappy Emma was, before she was allowed to be a girl.
Meagan shared a harrowing story of when Emma was only four-years-old.
Meagan found Emma with a knife in her room – planning to cut off her penis. Meagan says, “Yeah, wanted to cut it off. She just didn’t want it there, she didn’t think it belonged there. She only ended up with a little scratch, thank God, but, yeah, if I hadn’t have walked in earlier I don’t know… I don’t know what would’ve happened.”
Emma and her family appeared on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes this Sunday night, with the hope that they would be able to raise awareness – and create acceptance – around issues of gender dysphoria.
Emma’s dad, David, reveals that he had reservations about Emma’s new identity initially but has now embraced having a daughter. When Emma was living life as a boy, she was unhappy and caused trouble at school. David says that in the past she could be, “a right little monster”. But since being allowed to live as a girl, Emma has been much happier – “a princess” – her parents say.
At school each day, Emma was still Ronan – the name her parent’s had given her when she was born.
She was Ronan at school, and Emma at home.
For two years, Emma lived what was essentially a “double life”.
But this year, for the start of Grade 4, Emma has been re-enrolled at the same school she attended previously – this time as a girl. Initially the school had reservations, and Emma was banned from using the girl’s toilets, or playing on girl’s sports teams. But recently those decisions have been reversed and Emma’s wishes are being respected.
Emma’s mother Meagan was worried about what Emma’s peers might make of the transition, but in the remarkable and prejudice-less eyes of children, they seem to have embraced Emma as Emma.
Meagan admits, “She [Emma] wasn’t scared at all. It was me that was scared… I was scared of the other kids bullying her and not understanding. And I picked her up and I asked her how her day was, and she went, ‘Awesome!’ with the biggest smile on her face, and that was it – I knew we’d made the right choice then.”