ABBEY Boon can’t explain how she knows she’s a girl – she just is.
Some of the 11-year-old’s earliest memories include asking her parents for a fairy dress, taking Barbies to preschool, playing with her grandmother’s makeup and throwing a Ben 10 watch received as a gift across the room in disgust.
Abbey was born a boy and until about a year ago went by Ethan at home and school.
On the last day of term at Mowbray Heights Primary School she shared her true identity with her peers via a video in assembly.
“At first we thought she was going to be gay and we accepted that, but she came up to me late last year and she goes ‘I don’t want to be a boy, I want to be a girl’,” mum Melinda Miles said.
“So I said ‘Righto, I accept the way you are’, and I support her, I support everything she does.”
It was the support of Abbey’s “favourite best friends” Laura, Makayla, Oscar and Ellie that helped her type out her feelings on her mum’s laptop and share her story with her parents and teachers.
Mowbray Heights connected Abbey and her family with Working It Out and the gender and sexuality support service helped Abbey film the video she shared last Friday.
The nerves were overwhelming before the video aired.
“I can’t really explain it. It was like my heart was slowing down and I felt sick,” Abbey said.
I liked being Ethan but I didn’t want to be him.Abbey Boon
“I thought everyone was just going to turn around and be nasty and everything. They did turn around but they smiled to me.
“There was a group of girls who basically avoided me the whole time I was Ethan. After the video they came up and hugged me for some reason. My bestest ever friend Laura, me and her cried, teachers cried, Mum cried.”
Ms Miles said the family had accepted Abbey.
“Half the time you don’t even think she’s a boy, that’s the way it’s gotten now,” she said.
“At school I’m not going to be there to protect her, in society I’m not going to be able to protect her all the time, but I will protect her as much as I can. I haven’t let her do it, she’s done it herself, this is who she is.”
Abbey will soon see a specialist to prevent the onset of male puberty and she expects to begin hormone replacement therapy when she turns 18.
“I liked being Ethan but I didn’t want to be him,” Abbey said.