A pupil at a top girls’ school is lobbying to wear trousers in defiance of the school’s strict uniform policy because she says she identifies as a boy. Beth Morgan has been a pupil at the traditional grammar school for a number of years, but has returned from Christmas break as ‘Jordan’.
Gloucester High School for Girls has been accommodating of her wishes, with classmates and teachers now referring to Beth by her chosen name ‘Jordan’, but the school has insisted that she must still wear a skirt as stipulated in the school rules. The school, which educates 550 girls between the ages of 11 and 16, has a mixed sixth form.
Speaking to the Telegraph, 13-year-old ‘Jordan’ said she wanted to inspire other transgender children to come forward and identify as the opposite sex.
“I’m transgender – I identify more as male,” she said. “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.”
Following a visit to her GP, ‘Jordan’ is currently awaiting an appointment at London’s Tavistock Clinic, which treats children with gender identity issues. She and her family are discussing potential therapies including hormone treatment and surgery as a way forward.
Her mother, Diane, said: “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.”
She admitted that she had chosen the school thanks to its traditional ethos, but added: “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.”
Headteacher Eva Sawicka said she and her staff are looking closely at transgender guidance for schools and are working with ‘Jordan’ and her family.
Last month the prestigious fee-paying school Brighton College announced that it would be scrapping its 170 year-old uniform and “abolish the notion of boys’ and girls’ schools altogether” to accommodate a small number of transgender students.
Head teacher Richard Cairns said: “If some boys and girls are happier identifying with a different gender from that in which they were born, then my job is to make sure that we accommodate that. My only interest as headmaster is their welfare and happiness.”
Sophie Cook, a transgender woman who advised Mr Cairns on the change in policy said: “Like the bigots of the past, the anti-Semites and the homophobes, the anti-transgender lobby is gradually fading. The casual racism of 1970s Saturday night TV comedians now looks as out of place as a dinosaur striding up Brighton beach. And, in time, the transphobes will join them on history’s naughty step.”
Transgenderism appears to be on the rise among children, with some 80 primary school children a year now being labelled ‘transgendered’. Last year, Mermaids, a charity which helps transgender children and their parents, recorded a 70 percent increase in the number of families coming to them for help and advice.