- The Washington Times - Monday, January 29, 2007

VIENNA, Austria — A boy of 14 is believed to have become the world’s youngest sex-change patient after convincing doctors that he wanted to live the rest of his life as a female.

The boy — originally called Tim, but now known as Kim — has started to receive hormone treatment in preparation for the operation that will eventually complete the sex change.

Tim was diagnosed as a transsexual two years ago, when doctors and psychiatrists concluded that his claims to be “in the wrong body” were so deeply felt that he required treatment.

Now officially registered as a female, Kim looks like a typical girl of her age. She dresses in fashionable clothes, has long blonde hair and blue eyes, and dreams of moving to Paris to become a fashion designer. Her parents, who initially assumed their son was going through a temporary phase, eventually grew accustomed to seeing him as a girl.

The family’s full identity has not been made public. But Kim’s father, identified as Lutz P. in interviews to the German publications Der Spiegel and Stern, said that as a child, the boy liked to play with Barbie dolls, enjoyed wearing dresses and from age 2 insisted that he was a girl.

“We saw Kim as a girl, but not as a problem. Our life was surprisingly normal,” he said.

Kim’s parents consulted psychiatrists across Germany. Some of them condemned the parents’ support of their child’s desire to undergo a sex change, while others suggested that Kim be kept under observation in a closed psychiatric ward.

But others agreed that the child should receive therapy because growing up to be a man would damage her personality.

Kim is reportedly fully accepted by her fellow school pupils and teachers. The costs of the procedure are being covered by health insurance, as the condition qualifies as an illness.

Dr. Achim Wuesthof, an endocrinologist specializing in children and adolescents who is treating the teenager at a clinic in Hamburg, said the procedure had been a success so far.

In an interview, he said that even though under-16s were not permitted to undergo a sex change in other countries, he and his colleagues felt that in this case it had been best to start earlier.

“To the best of my knowledge, Kim is the youngest sex-change patient in the world,” he said.

For legal reasons, the final stage — cosmetic surgery to remove the male genitalia — cannot take place until Kim is 18. Britain’s youngest transsexual is Angel Paris-Jordan, who was granted an operation at age 17.

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