Leo, a South Broward 14-year-old, recalls how “very uncomfortable” he became when his first-grade teacher referred to him with female pronouns.
“I hated my body. I did not feel comfortable who I was presenting as. I knew it was not who I truly was,” said Leo, who back then told his mother how he felt, but that “she didn’t understand and she kind of dismissed it.”
Six years later, Leo scrawled on his bedroom mirror, “I’m not your daughter anymore.” Mom’s response: “I think I would know if you weren’t my daughter.”
A month before school began in 2017, Leo said he wanted a short haircut. “She kept telling me no. I kept bringing it up and at some point I blurted it out that I’m trans. She dismissed it. She didn’t want to talk about anything.”
Leo says that shortly after, “I had a mental breakdown on my couch.