MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — He left middle school as a boy, but now a 13-year-old says he wants his district to accept him as a girl when he returns in the fall.
However, as CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, the New Jersey teen said she is facing a lot of problems.
“I am my own person. You have no right to judge me,” Rachel said.
After spending 13 years of her life as Brian, the teenager said she wants to be accepted for who she is.
“For being transgender. I hate that people look differently, look down at us — it’s just horrible,” she said.
Brian, who now wants to be known as Rachel, said she came out on the Web to help others because her middle school initially told her she couldn’t come back as a girl.
Because Rachel says online comments were so cruel, CBS 2 has not used her last name.
Rachel told CBS 2’s Sloan that she received online hate messages.
“I am just a little nervous now. If you could find me, the whole world can find me. It just scares me a little bit,” Rachel explained.
In a statement the school district said that it is working with the family to welcome Rachel back to Thorne Middle School in Middletown.
“She would be treated with the respect and inclusive opportunities that all students deserve,” the school said.
Rachel’s family says they want a new school because she was picked on at Thorne for being different.
“We recently heard from the superintendent and she can come back as Rachel and be accepted. The fact is she needs a fresh start,” Rachel’s mother Angela explained.
Even Rachel’s mother says she had a hard time understanding when her daughter first confided in her.
“I said ‘absolutely not’ but now that she came out as Rachel she’s happy and who am I to stop her? Who am I to say you can’t be yourself?” Angela said.
“I am a good person. I have a good heart. I just want to be treated the same,” Rachel added. “No matter what you say it won’t affect me and it will not and cannot get to me.”
Rachel says that now that she has come out she is happier and the panic attacks have gone away. Now, she is looking forward to a new school year.
Rachel’s mother says she plans to retain an attorney to protect her daughter, but that she is not looking for money or to force the district to let Rachel into the girls’ locker room.
Rachel can’t have surgery to get a sex change until she is 18, but said that it is not something she is focusing on right now.
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