Storm in a D cup

When my son wore a skirt, it started a Facebook campaign

Published by: Laura Hinton and Marcello Mego
Published on: 1 March 2012

You can imagine our delight can't you? After having six gorgeous girls, me and my hubby Frank had finally been blessed with a son Jamie.
We couldn't help but get carried away. We had visions of our boy being the captain of the Scottish footie team, continuing the family name... Except now, aged 17, Jamie wasn't sporty at all. In fact, he loved nothing better than hanging out with his sister Michaela, 19. He was in the middle of a hairdressing course at Govan
High School, too.
Not that we minded, of course. But over the past few months, I'd sensed something was bothering him. He didn't seem very happy, moped around the house.
Then one day, I was watching TV when he sat next to me. ‘Mum... if I told you something that really shocked you, would you throw me out?' he whispered.
My heart stopped. I flicked off the TV. ‘Of course not,' I croaked, taking his hand. ‘What's wrong?'
Jamie couldn't look me in the eye. ‘I think I might be a transvestite,' he said.
His words floored me. My son wanted to be a girl? ‘Erm, are you sure?' I gasped, finding my voice.
‘It just feels right,' he nodded.
‘Are you gay then?' I asked.
He shrugged. ‘I don't know.' He looked so upset and scared that I couldn't be angry. Instead, I hugged him. As he wept, my mind went into overdrive. All those times I'd caught him playing with his sisters' toys as a kid, should I have put a stop to it?
‘Don't you want to play with your Spider-Man?' I'd always asked.
‘No!' he'd giggled back, brushing Barbie's hair. I'd just thought it was a phase...
‘What do you think Dad will say?' Jamie sniffed now.
‘I'll speak to him,' I smiled weakly. I was worried, you see, that Frank wouldn't take it so well. I knew he'd been counting down the days until Jamie was 18, and they could go for a pint together. Then he'd give him a proper man-to-man talk about women. Oh dear...
So, as soon as he got home from work, I sat Frank down. ‘It's about Jamie,' I began. His eyes grew wider as I explained. Any minute I expected him to explode.
‘Well, I never,' he mumbled.
‘It's a lot to take in,' I admitted. ‘But we'll be there for Jamie. Won't we?'
‘I just never...' he started, rubbing his face. But I'd seen the flash of disappointment in his eyes. This wasn't what he'd wanted for his son. If I'd had the choice, neither would I. But Jamie was our son. I'd vowed that nothing my children did could ever make me stop loving them.
Later, Jamie crept downstairs. He was so nervous about seeing Frank. ‘All right, son,' he smiled, though. Jamie's face lit up and I breathed a sigh of relief. We'd get through this as
a family...
So when Jamie mentioned that he wanted to dress as a woman for a Halloween party he'd been invited to, I thought it was a good idea. ‘It will be a chance for him to test the water,' I told Frank.
More than anything, I was worried how everyone would react to him if he started dressing as a woman. People could be so cruel, and he'd always been a quiet, sensitive boy.
When he was younger, while his sisters were all yelling at each other and playing loud music, he'd hide away in his room reading.
I couldn't bear the thought of him being bullied or abused.
That night, he walked downstairs... and I was shocked by the transformation. He was wearing long, blonde hair extensions, along with a feminine top and leggings.
‘What do you think?!' he asked me and Frank. I could hear the nerves in his voice, but didn't know what to say.
‘Don't you like the blusher?' Michaela piped up, linking arms with her brother.
‘I did the mascara, too,' added his other sister Jocelyn, 18.
Watching them support him like that encouraged me. ‘You look great,' I smiled.
‘Please call me Kierney when I'm dressed like this,' Jamie said.
‘Well, have a good night, Kierney,' Frank smiled.
Hearing his dad say that seemed to be the boost Jamie needed.
Next day, he was over the moon. ‘Loads of people said I made a good woman,' he told me. ‘So I'm going to tell my teachers next.'
I was proud of how he was handling this. So I was thrilled for him when the school agreed to let him wear a girl's uniform the following term. As he stood there in shorts, tights, a white shirt, a tie and hair extensions, I didn't know who was more nervous. ‘Knock ‘em dead, son,' I smiled.
At lunchtime, he stormed back in the door. ‘I've been thrown out,' he told me. ‘They've expelled me!'
‘What?' I gasped. I was furious. Jamie had shown such strength doing this today. Livid, I went to the school and demanded a meeting with the headteacher.
‘He'd spoken to you about wearing girls' clothes,' I raged. ‘He's put himself on the line coming out like this.'
‘You've got it all wrong,' the head told me. ‘We only removed Jamie from class because of his disruptive behaviour. It's nothing to do with his clothes.'
Sure, Jamie had been given detention a few times. A couple of letters had been sent home in the past, too. But now we knew why he'd been acting up. ‘You could have chosen better timing to do this than today, though,' I sighed.
Over the next few days, Jamie moped about at home. But his mates had started an online petition requesting he be let back into school, and he got messages of support on Facebook, too. Far from being bullied, everyone was backing him!
‘Look, Mum,' Jamie said, calling me over to the computer.
I think you're really brave, one person had written.
And in the local paper the next day... ‘I'm front page news!' Jamie squealed!
Without us knowing, one of the parents had written to the local paper. Knowing that people supported Jamie was incredible.
After a meeting with the school, he's now back in class. Of course, we're still adjusting to his decision. It's not what we'd have chosen, but his happiness is all that matters to us. Jamie - or Kierney - will always be the best son I could ever ask for.

• A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: ‘The suggestion the pupil was told he was not welcome at the school because of his clothing is untrue.
‘His choice of clothing is not an issue. The issue, as Jamie himself has said, was around his behaviour and commitment to his education.'

Alison Love, 45, Govan, Glasgow