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'I don't want facial hair': Trans girl, eight, has sleepless nights about growing up as a boy

Apr 10, 2022

Since 2014, the Saccone Joly family have been documenting their daily life online to almost two million followers.

Jonathan and his wife Anna were just a young couple with a dog when they first started recording videos for YouTube, but they quickly generated interest when they filmed the birth of their first child, Emilia.

For years, they continued to make content for YouTube, and made lots of money in return.

But after reaching his 40s, Jonathan said he knew he had to change. He wanted to move away from "fluff" and concentrate on promoting positive messages about mental health and gender identity.

Edie has said goodbye to her former name Eduardo

Image: Edie has said goodbye to her former name, Eduardo

'The perfect mix of a girl and a boy'

Jonathan describes a childhood of trauma after he had to suppress who he really was.

"I grew up thinking that all the thoughts in my head were wrong. I know that left me with a lifetime of trauma," he said.

Jonathan recently revealed to his followers that he is non-binary and uses the pronouns he/him. He also announced his second child, born a boy, is now a transgender girl called Edie.

Through various films posted on their Saccone Joly channel, we see Edie, who has just turned eight, say goodbye to her former name Eduardo and watch her delight at being able to wear girls' clothes.

"She's beautiful, she's amazing because she is a perfect mix of a girl and a boy," said Jonathan. "She is probably the most understanding of all our children because she overcame something she oppressed as a child and then was told, 'Hey, you can blossom, it's okay.'"

Jonathan added: "I think the emotional intelligence of a child is something that people think, 'Oh, no, she can't have those feelings and have those emotions'. But if you talk to any adult trans people, they will tell you that they were trans from the day they were born."

Jonathan and his family have experienced a lot of "hate" from critics online about his and Edie's gender identity.

"People will say you're forcing it on her, or she is too young to know what is going on," he said. "But I'm like, that is your lack of exposure to that environment. You don't have a trans child, you are not a trans person."

For years, the family has made content for YouTube

Image: For years, the family has made content for YouTube

Jonathan spoke of how Edie had told him of "sleepless nights" after seeing a video about puberty.

She told him "I don't want to grow facial hair", and asked him: "I'm going to have babies when I grow up, right? I'm going to be a mummy?"

"As a parent, I don't know how to answer that question because it's really sad to see a child just questioning it all," Jonathan said. "And then you get cisgendered people who have no experience to say that's wrong."

The family has an "exit strategy" if Edie would like to change her mind in the future.

Meanwhile, Jonathan hopes he can use his online platform to inform others about gender identity.

Jonathan and his family have experienced a lot of #39;hate#39; from critics online

Image: Jonathan and his family have experienced a lot of 'hate' from critics online

Schools 'lacking guidance' on gender identity lessons

New research shows almost 80% of secondary schools have students that identify as trans or non-binary.

A YouGov poll commissioned by human rights organisation Sex Matters also found two-thirds of teachers would be interested in lessons plans from the government on gender identity.

Helen Joyce, director of advocacy at Sex Matters, said: "It's clear from what teachers have told us that schools are feeling at sea on this difficult topic.

"They're lacking guidance, feeling confused from getting conflicting information on this. And more concerning, parents are feeling left in the dark about what children are being told on sex, gender, and trans issues."

The Department for Education said: "We recognise that gender identity can be a complex and sensitive topic for schools to navigate.

"We will be working with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission as we consider our next steps for supporting schools in this area."

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The calls for more support in schools comes after the government announced that a ban on so-called conversion therapy won't include trans people.

This prompted 100 organisations to boycott the UK's first global LGBT conference , forcing the government to cancel the event.

Read more: What is conversion therapy and what has the government's position been?

Jonathan said he was shocked at how much he feels society has gone backwards.

"I would have assumed we would be more accepting today," he said.

"To make a group of people in society feel excluded, it allows someone to weaponise what the government is saying and use it in a negative way to put in more controls and hold down people, which is so unfair."

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