According to 32 year old mum, Kerry , 3 year old Daniel had always shown more interest in dolls than footballs, she says.
But his loving mum just assumed it was a quirk of his developing personality, until the bathtime that changed everything.
He was playing in the water. I had turned around and when I turned back I saw he’d managed to find a pair of scissors. He was holding them above his bits (eggplant).
I was so shocked. But I tried to be calm and asked him what he was doing. He told me he was about to cut off his willy so he could be a girl.
I told him he couldn’t because he’d hurt himself and bleed a lot. I calmly took the scissors from him and gave him a big hug. It was very upsetting. No mum should have to see their child so unhappy in their own skin.
It was a tearful moment for both her and Daniel – who is now believed to be UK’s youngest reported case of the psychological disorder gender dysphoria.
Daniel’s parents took the tough decision to let him become Danni. They have been criticised but remain certain they did the right thing.
Kerry’s other four children, Amy Leigh (14), Ayden, (10) Dylan (8), and Charlie (4), had shown no sign of questioning their genders.
But Daniel was different and began to exhibit feminine traits.
He had a doll called Jenny which he’d take everywhere. A couple of times he had asked, ‘When will I be a girl?’ “I used to tell him he wouldn’t because he was a boy. But he just wouldn’t accept it.”
He’d ask everyone if they had a ‘willie’ or a ‘cookie’ – the word we used for female private parts.
After the bathtime moment, Kerry and Daniel’s dad Craig (34) decided to visit the family GP in north-east Scotland.
She told the doctor about the worrying scissors incident and how her son would complain about being made to wear boys’ clothes.
Daniel was sent to a clinic in where he was diagnosed with gender dysphoria – a condition in which individuals are uncomfortable with their gender. He was still only three.
Kerry was shocked by the news. But she recalled:
It was also a relief to get a diagnosis. They told us it would benefit Daniel to live as a girl – as long as he was aware he could change his mind at any point. They could give him drugs to postpone puberty and he could be given hormone treatment instead.
Then at 18, he could have gender realignment surgery on the NHS . It was a very overwhelming thing to take in. Craig and I agonised over letting him live as a girl.
We were worried he’d be bullied at school. But in the end we agreed to let Daniel be who he wanted to be. Our fears weren’t enough to stop him being a girl, if that’s what he wanted.
That was three years ago and family and friends have called Daniel Danni ever since and let her grow her hair. Her parents also decided to make the change public.
After talking the issue through with teachers, Kerry wrote letters to all the other parents explaining Daniel would be returning to school as a girl.
The school even installed unisex toilets to make Danni feel more comfortable and accepted. Almost every parent of children in the class offered support and admiration for the couple’s bravery.
That positive reaction gave Kerry the confidence to talk about the fact that she now considers her youngest son to be a daughter.
I’ve chosen to go public with Danni’s story to raise awareness for other transgender children and their parents, who may be suffering in silence.
It is a lot to go through as a family but, with the right support, it is possible to get the correct help for your child. The first step is going to a gender specialist and getting your child properly diagnosed, then you can take it from there.
But Kerry still recalls with a chill the feeling of helplessness after lifting her child out of the bath the night she realised he hated being a boy.
You read all these books on parenting and how to be a good mum. But no one prepares you for what to do if your child isn’t happy with his or her sex. We were so lost.
That night she searched online for “my son wants to be a girl” and the word “transgender” popped up. Kerry said:
The more I read, the more it explained Daniel’s behaviour. It was hard to think he was going through such a serious thing at such a young age.
Even medical experts were baffled at first by the youngster’s symptoms.
Kerry and Craig went along with their child’s wish to be female and let her grow her hair and wear girls’ clothes. He now became her. For Danni’s fourth birthday, Kerry let her choose her presents and she picked a Barbie doll, Peppa Pig toys and a baby in a pram.
See more photos of the boy turned girl below: