10-Year-Old Says He Was Born In The Wrong Body - My9 New Jersey

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10-Year-Old Says He Was Born In The Wrong Body

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Salem, OR- It’s a tough choice for an adult, and an even tougher one for a 10-year-old.

However, one Salem, Oregon, kid says he was born in the wrong body and wants to change it.

Meet Ben, he's ten, and he's got it all figured out.

He knows he wants to play soccer. He knows he wants to grow up to be a veterinarian.

And, he knows he's meant to be a boy.

"I didn't want to be a girl, because it wasn't who I think I was supposed to be when I was born," Ben Oelhafen said.

Ben was born Angela. At two, he was diagnosed with autism.

At six, he said he first knew he was in the wrong body.

"I thought I would be more comfortable as a boy than a girl," he said.

That’s how he's been living the last few weeks, the outside finally matching the inside.

"I will love my son for who he is. But this is a road I never wanted him to have to travel," Ben's mom Jenifer Sutton said

Ben’s mom and stepdad say they've known about his feelings for two years.

But now, Ben's in a race against puberty.

"I'm going to take boy hormones and block those ladies," Ben Oelhafen said.

He also says he wants to block the thing he’s afraid of: Developing into a woman.

"Puberty suppression eliminates those negative changes and allows them to develop in a way that matches their gender identity," Transactive Gender Center Executive Director Jenn Burleton said.

Jenn Burleton works with kids like Ben every day. She said a common option, one that he's considering, is what's known as hormone blocking. It would essentially put puberty on pause.

"Their physiology may not be holding off. Their physiology may be maturing them," she said. "So, the beauty of puberty blockers is if we feel they may not be cognitively able to make decisions that would involve irreversible actions, puberty blockers are completely reversible."

If Ben Oelhafen decides he doesn't want to reverse it, he could take cross sex hormones later to become physically male.

A choice Jenifer says is entirely up to her son.

"I love and accept you through autism. I will love and accept you through transgender,” she said.

And she and her husband hope, through this all, Ben can just be Ben.

"That would be awesome," Ben said.

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