Avery Jackson is a 9 year old transgender activist from Kansas city, Kansas, USA . Avery, also known as AJ, was assigned male at birth, but has now transitioned into a young girl. Her parents are Tom and Debi Jackson.
Early Life and Transition
Avery's mother, Debi Jackson said her child went from being a "happy, outgoing 2-year-old boy to becoming sullen and depressed" by the time she was 3 years old. Around the ages of 3 and 4, Avery became angry and withdrawn and detested going to preschool, according to her mother. When Jackson dressed up in a princess dress, "the darkness lifted", said Debi, who also has a son Anson, 11, with her husband Tom. The couple thought their child was a gay boy and "it would be OK." One day when they were walking through Target on a holiday shopping trip, Debi said Avery turned to her and said: "You call me a boy, you think I’m a boy, but you know I’m a girl on the inside, right?" Following that incident her parents took her to pediatricians, genetic therapists and finally there was the decision to let Avery dress as a girl on the weekends. Eventually, Jackson had had enough; when she was going to a birthday party and her mom asked her to put on boy clothes for a few hours, she refused and said, "I don't want to pretend to be a boy." Jackson dressed as a girl and none of her friends batted an eye. Following that day she dressed for school in girl's clothing and her anxieties about going to school were alleviated.
While Jackson's classmates held no opposition to her new way of dressing, parents of the preschoolers raised concerns. Shortly after her classmates attitudes went from accepting to shunning. Jackson said she was treated as if she had "transgender pox"; her classmates were told she was contagious. As a result, Jackson withdrew from preschool in order to preserve her identity which she valued more than friends. Her parents have since homeschooled her and Jackson is very content.