Court allows 'boy', 15, to have breasts removed

IS a 15-year-old child old enough to make life-changing decisions about their own body and sexuality?

What if involves having surgery to have breasts removed?

That was the issue facing the Family Court which has ruled that a child known as Lincoln was mature enough to decide for himself on whether to have the operation.

The Australian reports that the child, born as a girl, decided in 2014 to live as a boy.

He had his birth certificate changed from female to male last year.

Lincoln told the court in evidence that he had to wear breast binders every day.

"I absolutely hate that. I can't breathe properly. I want to be able to run around. My body shape isn't even very good in a binder. I have to wear layers of clothing. I want to be able to just wear a T-shirt.

"I spent the whole of last summer in a jumper. (After surgery) my body will look the way I want it to."

Should a child be given the right to change their gender

This poll ended on 11 January 2017.

Current Results

Yes. It's their body


No. They may change their mind


Yes. But not for surgery


Depends on their circumstance


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The child's parents, who are divorced, have supported Lincoln's case for surgery with his dad planning to sell something valuable that he owns to pay for the costs.

The surgery involves cutting semi­circles under the breast, removing breast tissue and sculpting a male-style chest.

Lincoln was 13 when he told his mother that he felt he had been born in the wrong body.

He had researched the issue on the internet and thought he had gender dysphoria, the Australian reported.

What is gender dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria is a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there's a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.

It's sometimes known as gender identity disorder (GID), gender incongruence or transgenderism.

Biological sex is assigned at birth, depending on the appearance of the genitals. Gender identity is the gender that a person "identifies" with or feels themselves to be.

While biological sex and gender identity are the same for most people, this isn't the case for everyone. For example, some people may have the anatomy of a man, but identify themselves as a woman, while others may not feel they're definitively either male or female.

This mismatch between sex and gender identity can lead to distressing and uncomfortable feelings that are called gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition, for which treatment is sometimes appropriate. It's not a mental illness.

Some people with gender dysphoria have a strong and persistent desire to live according to their gender identity, rather than their biological sex.

These people are sometimes called transsexual or trans people. Some trans people have treatment to make their physical appearance more consistent with their gender identity.

Signs of gender dysphoria

The first signs of gender dysphoria can appear at a very young age.

For example, a child may refuse to wear typical boys' or girls' clothes, or dislike taking part in typical boys' or girls' games and activities.

In most cases, this type of behaviour is just part of growing up and will pass in time, but for those with gender dysphoria it continues through childhood and into adulthood.

Adults with gender dysphoria can feel trapped inside a body that doesn't match their gender identity.

They may feel so unhappy about conforming to societal expectations that they live according to their anatomical sex, rather than the gender they feel themselves to be.

They may also have a strong desire to change or get rid of physical signs of their biological sex, such as facial hair or breasts.

Source: NHS