Meet the girl who attends a boys’ school

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Hannah’s morning routine is like any other 16-year-old girl. She wakes up, eats breakfast, takes a shower, puts on her uniform, puts a big bag over her shoulder and leaves for school.

While she would much rather wear a skirt, Hannah walks through the doors of her boys-only high school, dressed like everyone else – in a tie, blazer, pants and chunky black shoes.

Hannah, 16, became transgender last year and made the decision to stay at her school, despite the uniform.

“I tried to get them to change their policy for about a year,” says Hannah.

“[The school says] if they give in to me, other people might ask for other changes.

You have to sort of put a facade and you have to make people believe that you are something that you are not.

Hannah’s mother, Gagan, initially agreed with the school and felt that the uniform did not need to be changed.

“I actually told him ‘look, I’m wearing pants and … I actually wore a tie when I was going to school’.”

“[But a doctor explained] it’s really a big problem for her because all this time she’s been living like a boy… it’s a really big step for her to feel comfortable.

Growing up, Hannah always felt uncomfortable with her body and started questioning her gender in grade five.

“Pretending to live like a boy was weird because it was different from how I felt about myself,” she says.

“You’ve got to kind of put a front on it and you’ve got to make people think you’re something that you’re not.”

Since going out with her mother and to school last year, Hannah says she has felt accepted in her community. And for Gagan, her child’s gender identity doesn’t change who she gave birth to.

“I think it doesn’t matter – gender of girl or boy – I have the same child,” Gagan says.

“She talks to me the same way, she has the same black, dry sense of humor – very sarcastic and cynical … And I just love her.”

Watch the Insight episode, Transgender Teens, on SBS On Demand.


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