Family and individual support for teenagers and children with gender identity issues

Registered Charity No. 1073991

 About us
 What is Gender Dysphoria?
 Support and Self Help
 Young Voices
 Parents Voices

Young Voices

At Mermaids we know that the suffering caused by gender dysphoria can be extreme. Children and young people are often bullied, isolated, and sometimes even physically attacked. The pieces below were written and sent in to Mermaids. If you are a parent, carer or professional, we hope that by reading them, you can gain some understanding of what it feels like to deal with this. If you are currently struggling with your own gender identity issues, reading these might show that you are not alone. If you would like to send in a piece of work to Mermaids we would be delighted to receive it. You can send by email or post, our contact details can be found on the Contact Us page on the left hand menu.

Also available is our brochure, Where do the Mermaids stand?
Action for Children helped us to produce this, and you can either order up to 5 paper copies at £4.00 per copy, including postage, or click here to download the online version.
If over 5 copies are required, then please contact us to discuss a discount.


By Aoife
Age 16

Each time I look into a mirror,
I see a face look back at me.
Sometimes it's the face of a girl,
And sometimes it's a boy. Each face shows its sadness,
Each one shows its pain.
Both of them have their sorrow,
But one has room for Joy. I know some day that I must choose a face,
And live with it forever more.
But which one can joy live in?
Which one can I scorn?.


The Little Mermaid

By a Mermaids member.
Age 7


Personal Account

By a Former Mermaids Member
Now in their 20's

How's about starting a normal life?
But won't starting in the middle always be difficult?
But I suppose I never thought life would be so, well - tricky!
What happens when the only thought that occupies your mind is
and suddenly you realise that's the only thing you'll NEVER be. Of course you have friends offering to help.
But when they will never truly understand, what's the point?
As soon as you get close to normality somebody moves the barriers.
Sometimes I try to convince myself that I am normal,
it's just the ones who don't understand or don't try to,
who aren't normal.
Somehow, I never can truly convince myself enough. But when I ask for help what happens?
Exactly. Perhaps I'm being selfish, stubborn, paranoid, or one of the thousand other things I've been called.
Why does it all have to be so f****** hard?


By a Mermaids member.
Age 7

I bring my favourite stuff to school
But other kids can be so cruel
They laugh and point and say "Oooh"
And I just don't know what to do.
I bring Barbie to school
But they lie
and when I go they don't say "Bye".


By Ariel-Michelle

As I sit in a room of peace, I feel strangely out of place.
As I watch the people talk, I wonder what expression is on their face. Are they really content? Are they sad?
Are their lives good? Do they feel sad? If you read between the lines they say you can see whats being said beneath.
If you could see between my lines would you see the longing for some of that peace? Do you see your soul trapped for the whole of your life?
Do you feel bad because it always upsets your wife? Peace is a rare thing in this world, enjoy it while you can.
For when you feel trapped, it feels like no one would give a damn. Wars rage across the globe, mabe soon, the wars and pain will be gone.
Sometimes the battle to free the soul is lost but the war still rages on To be myself whatever I may be is a small request I need to ask.
Why does it seem to me, to be an impossible task? I feel like an actress, playing the part of a man.
I want to be the girl inside that I know I am. Living a lie for my whole life is a pain that sears and burns.
So I ask you this: When is it my turn?

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A Mermaid will come

By Ellie, sister and protector
Age 8

My sister crys when I say your a boy
I wait to the fact I don't understand
We cry to the fact people laugh and stare It is rough at school So if your a transgender sibling please wait a mermaid will come

The problems we have are just the start
Dresses up as a girl
Acts like a girl
And yes people laugh and stare
If your a transgender sibling please wait and a mermaid will come

A personal story


Hi, I'm Kye and I'm a female to male transgender. I'm currently awaiting
testosterone treatment, which will start towards the end of June. The
testosterone treatment will allow me to go through male puberty, and begin
the journey to become who I was meant to be. I will gain things such as
facial hair, voice drop, and my body will slowly become more masculine over
time. But the thing I am most looking forward to, is finally being able to
be happy and feeling right, and feel like everyone else. To just be able to
step out of my front door and not worry about who is trying to work me out,
to be able to talk to people without worrying if my voice is too high, or
how I word what I say. To be able to get rid of the dysphoria that shadows
me every day, forcing me to pick out everything feminine about myself and
maximise it, I will finally be able to look in the mirror and see myself for
the first time.

I have always felt this way, although when I was younger I perhaps didn't
understand what transgender is, I didn't even understand I was truly
biologically female. All I knew was that one day God would change me if I
was good. I used to pray every night before I went to sleep, that I would
wake up and I would be a boy, then, I would wake up and before I could
barely open my eyes I would rip off the covers in anxiety and find that no,
God had not changed me. I would cry when I was alone, I would be aggressive
with everyone around me because I didn't understand 'why God would do this
to me'. At school, I would always hang around with the boys, I would always
do boy things and I was just referred to as a 'tomboy'. I truly despised
that title, because it still insisted I was female when I believed so truly
I was not. I had crushes on girls, I never had crushes on boys, I've never
been a 'lesbian', I have always viewed myself as a straight male. Even
people in my class in primary school would ask, 'do you want to be a boy?'
I'd out rightly say 'No, I am a boy'.

Primary school was easier; I was accepted no questions asked. It was
secondary school that truly ruined the confidence and happiness inside of
me. I was bullied constantly, even by teachers who I would plead to for
help, they would just ignore everything I'd say and reply with 'you chose to
do all of this; you must suffer the consequences'. I think, in my opinion,
anyone in their right mind would not choose a life of discrimination and
pain, but they insisted this was so. When I would enter changing rooms for
P.E, girls would scream and hide their bodies, and shout at me to get out; I
would hear them whisper about me as I got changed and they would outright
ask me in front of all the other girls 'why haven't you shaved your legs?',
the embarrassment was unbearable, I distinctly remember feeling every girls
eyes on me in disgust. I was physically bullied a lot of times, which not a
lot of people know, one time that stands out to me was when I went into the
girls toilet during class and three girls were in there, they told me to get
out and I ignored them, so they grabbed me by the neck and started to shout
at me and hit me. I was kicked in the face and stomach and before they left,
one spat on my face. There were constant situations like this every day I
went into school, and I went into extreme depression and became more and
more in denial with myself.

Finally one summer, I woke up one day and decided to tell my mother how I
felt, that I needed to do something about it. She was sat in her room on her
computer, so I sat next to her and said to her I needed to talk to her. I
told her I wanted to be a boy, and it was as simple as that. She held me and
told me she knew and it was okay, and that she would do anything to help.
She told me a story about when I was 3 years old, that I asked her one day
'mummy, when is my willy going to grow?', she said from then she knew it was
going to be the case and she was awaiting the day I approached her. So, we
set up counselling and I started going by the name Kye, my sister also
called me Kye and referred to me as her brother as often as she could, as we
were still in school with each other and we knew mutual people who did not
know I was transitioning. Every time I was called Kye, and he, I would get a
warm happy feeling inside my stomach, I knew it felt right and I knew it was
how it should be.

Now, I'm at college as Kye, and as male, my friends don't know and don't
have a clue. I'm in a relationship as Kye, and as male, my girlfriend knows
and is 100% supportive and is so excited about my journey. My family are
supportive, a lot of friends know and are supportive, and most of all I am
confident about being transgender, I am happy about being transgender, and
the time I have been waiting for all my life is here.

Some people ask me, if you could have had the choice to have been born male, or to still have been born transgender, what would you choose? Well, it's
not every day someone can say they have been both genders, they have lived
both sides of the spectrum, I have gone through female puberty and I have
gone through what a lot of females have which gives me such a greater
understanding of them, I understand things most boys won't. But I am male, I
talk like a boy, I think like a boy, I will have a male body; I have lived
in society as a female, and as a male. So my answer is, as much as my
journey is painful and as hard as it is, it is worth it. I believe people
are uneducated and have a very distorted view on transgenders, and I am
willing to be part of the process to bring people to greater understanding,
and to realise we're no different. I'm just on a journey to find myself,
aren't we all?

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You think

by Karl
Aged 19

You think that you're stupid
Someone will think that you're smart
You think that you're pathetic
Someone will think that you're great
You think that you're worthless
Someone will think that you're worth everything
You think that you are ugly
Someone will think that you're beautiful
You think everyone hates you
Someone out there loves you
You think that everyone out there is an enemy
Someone out there wants to be your friend
We are all human, we all bleed red
Don't ever think you're better off dead

Sea Views

By DJ Kingsbury

I stare out into the sea
Wishing I'll be able to shine as me.
Though the outcome of who I am
Mixed with the nature
Of the cruelty of this world,
I just don't want to exist any more.
So I stare out into the sea
Wishing to reel in a part of me.
Only to fall out of it again.

A New Dawn

By Emily

Suns burn out my eyes
Moons soothe my aching heart-
Reaching towards my soul
Drowning in this preconcieved mask
Change will this withering mirage.
This body is what I seek to transcend
Numb to the rules that segregate and obliterate my blossoming heart!
I can only ever be me which makes me pure
No law or ignorance can tie me down
I-rising from the ashes through the only eyes I can ever see from...

To greet
A new, and wonderful day.

Life and Death

By Emily

It is not the moment of death
But what you do with life you were given-
Not a slave to this body
Or the ornaments that I adore
A whore to my emotions
It is not a boy or man I wish to destroy or kill
Just to let this women
Spread her wings
.........and breathe!

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By Tobi

I was lost inside and indistinct
Kept caged and locked for security
From words and mouths and what people think
And even my own insanity

I am on the verge and inbetween
On the brink of pleasant fantasies
I am opened out ready to be seen
Holding the key to my sanities

I am cleansed, sure, soft, and free
I am a gentle, kind, memory
Of what I am,will, and used to be
And finally
I am me

To a Girl

By Riff
Age 19

Staring through a window
Gazing at your face
Comparing all its contours with my own
Wondering if you're happy
If you've ever felt
Confused, rejected, cast away, alone
Looking deep into your eyes
Searching for the soul
And wondering what things you hide away
If those eyes have ever drowned
In waves of warm despair
Or opened on a smoky, blacked-out day
These eyes that burn with passion
Or freeze in ice-rimmed pain
Which the world, in you, will never stir
Watch you from a distance
Close, yet far away
And hating you because you never were.

I Am

By Jessica

How dare you try to define me? I am more than a sum total of your categories.
You say I'm gay, or a freak. You can't know that. What's more, it is none of your business.
Do not worry over what I am. Know that I am. I am a human being, just like anyone else.
I am not in some kind of 'alternative lifestyle'. I am not a freak. I am just myself.

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When being yourself has a price

By Sophie
Age 15

Who am I?
I'm not who you see.
I'm different inside, real inside.
There lies the real me.
It's the outside that's wrong.
Something so basic, so simple,
And it's wrong.

As a child, I acted as my real self.
But then the bullying started.
That's when I told myself I was wrong.
I am a girl on the outside,
But not on the inside.
I had to lie.
I have to lie.

The prices make me wonder,
Will I always be a pathetic figment?
Will I ever be allowed to be me?
There's the issue of losing money,
Losing friends,
Losing family,
And it's not even my fault.

Sometimes I wonder why.
Why was I born a lie?

I'm a Girl, He's a Guy

by Elly

I'm a girl, he's a guy
What can't you 'get' or be dealing with?
Don't stare at him or me like you can feel our frustration
Don't start asking how and wondering why

You're pointing to the sky firing a search to the critics to where I am
When I'm not yet the doctor's patient
It's hard to hide

I swerve and sway, extending my presence about the places I see around
If I may
I'm not such a bad person if you bother to tell
But know one believes me when I spell out my name
Just a figment of my own personal pain

Just a lie you spell out clear
Just a phase you'll pass my dear
I couldn't help to slouch around, staring at the plaster on the ceiling
That has me bound.
I've never liked drag and I f*cking hate Madonna
So back of with your cliché's of what I can offer
I couldn't help but wonder why
You can't accept the colour on my nails

He's a guy, can't you tell? It's not a figment of his own special brand of hell
It's his turmoil you inflame, the spite and hate you throw his way, a heavy
object to his complexion. Just a knife to help him with keeping his attention.
It's his screaming inside his head that burns the picture in his mind, and on the reflection of the mirror beside his lovely pink bed.
I'd like to push you off a cliff, and tell you the reasons before you land.

I just couldn't feel, not a little p*ssed
When I heard you make him cry
He moves aside and has a moment to feel
The bloody shocked eyes, and the gripping of his hair.

Don't you understand it's his life that he needs, not a cage that he lives in not the suffering you like to bury him further in.

You make me sick and terribly tired, when will you just roll of rooftops and die?
When I realise it's just another person trying to live out his life. Can't
you fill up on parecetamol and pay the paramedics an adrenaline good time?
But you feel the need to dissect his intent
And make him scared and make him shake
All inside I feel a sigh

Where a flame makes a sigh? Well..
Blows out and loses a will to burn up the hate filled eyes that you
ejaculate on our weary broken prison sells

I'd like to make you the fucking mess you see when pitying me, so your eyes gather at my clothes
Wondering if these are my real breasts

I'm a girl, and he's a guy
Let me get it clear for you so you don't have to-
Kick us in the Auschwitz in your category mind
So you don't have to feel obliged, to apologize and bore us with all the similarities in your life.
Let it go and don't bother me about my penis or the impotence between us
Or do us a favour and lie down and die

I am a girl with a penis and testicals, haven't you realised the feelings why?
Can't you 'get' that all this clutter you heave on our facades, can't be the fret that fate bestows, but it still cuts and bleeds and motivates me to write this prose
It still wounds the needy
It still steals from the look that's left wanting

You just couldn't sit down and listen, could you? You just couldn't be the mother and father you are. You can't let me be happy at 13; you had to force me to change outside and let me fall to pierces within my glass and crystal sharp edged male exterior. What's contained in here? Lots and lots of pain and a hint of envy. For the faces we see.. Who we would risk our life to be, to be


That's how we feel inside.
So I'm a girl and he's a guy. Please remember. And don't. Don't. Ask why

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Day by Day

by Bree
Age 17

I dread the next day
I have come to dread everyday
for each one I live
the life of another not mine
I can never live
the life that first meant for me
this life I now live
is a prison unfamiliar
my soul is now trapped
in bones it never knew and foreign flesh the torture never dies and my hopeless cries cover my smile now and forever

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