'I don't care what people think': 11-year-old on her gender transition

Aria Baker on transitioning aged 11 

Aria Baker on transitioning aged 11 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Eleven-year-old Aria Baker says she is the "happiest she's ever been". 

After years of depression, thought to be caused by body dysmorphia, the Norwich youngster is finally comfortable in her own skin thanks to beginning her gender transition. 

Aria - born Josh - says she has never felt better adding she wants to dedicate the years ahead to inspiring and supporting others in her position. 

Kayleigh Baker, mum of the Marlpit secondary-school pupil, said: "She was very unhappy during her childhood. 

Aria Baker with mother Kayleigh Baker 

Aria Baker with mother Kayleigh Baker at home in Marlpit - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"She suffered from depression. She did not feel comfortable in her own body."

Miss Baker explained that for years she tried to make her daughter happy, but that “no matter how hard we tried to get her to do things, she never wanted to”. 

In July Aria told her mother that she was transgender. 

Aria Baker shares her experiences of coming out as trans.

Aria Baker shares her experiences of coming out as trans. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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Kayleigh said: "Aria is now growing her hair, wearing female clothes and is the happiest I have ever seen her.” 

Aria added: “I never felt comfortable in my body as a boy, I always felt like there was a part of me missing but when I came out as transgender, I finally felt whole.  

“It felt like that’s who I was always supposed to be.” 

Aria dreams of a bright future where she can help others to be unapologetically themselves.

To do this, she has plans on taking to the screen with a career in YouTube. 

However, she is happy taking life one step at a time and in her own way. 

She said: “I don’t care what people think of me, if they’re calling me names, they must be insecure themselves.

"I’m living my life how I want to, no one can bring me down with nasty comments, their opinions are invalid to me.” 

Aria Baker comes out at Trans aged 11. 

Aria Baker, from Norwich, has come out as trans aged 11. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Her message to others who are having a similar struggle was to be as open as possible. 

She said: "Talk to someone about how you feel, it took me a long time but when I told my mum I felt so much relief and now I have so much support to be who I want to be. 

“I wish I had done it ages ago. People have reacted a lot better than I thought.

"Give people a chance to help you.” 

And Aria's mother believes it is her responsibility to encourage Aria to be who she wants to be.

She said: “I brought her into this world so it is my job to support her through it.” 

Aria Baker and Kayleigh Baker 

Aria Baker and Kayleigh Baker, both from Norwich - Credit: Sonya Duncan

She added: “Her confidence has shown me how brave she is, she truly is an inspiration and I am so proud to be able to say she is my daughter.” 

The government predicts that there are approximately 200,000 - 500,000 trans people in the UK. 

Since the Gender Recognition Act came into force in 2004, 4,910 trans people have been issued a Gender Recognition Certificate.  

The act will not however change the legal rights of children, the minimum age for gender recognition is 18.  

Nicholas Baker - who is not related to Aria - has supported the youth on her journey. 

The 27-year-old, originally from Murrow in Cambridgeshire has lived in Norwich for nine years. 

He has also recently begun his transition.  

He explained that he never felt comfortable as a female and tried to dress ultra-feminine to hide it.

However, he always felt like he was wearing a costume.  

He said: “I never realised there was an alternative until I got to know people in Norwich’s vibrant queer scene.” 

Nicholas Baker shares his experience of coming out as trans. 

Nicholas Baker, who lives in Norwich, shares his experience of coming out as trans. - Credit: Nicholas Baker

Mr Baker said the support of a trans friend was immeasurable, adding: “Hearing his story helped make my own clearer to me” 

He said: “The same way my sister knows she is a cisgender woman, I know I’m a non-binary guy.” 

Mr Baker added that the facilities in the county needed to be improved, as he was on the waiting list for two years. 

If you are a young person who has a story to tell or would be interested in having your voice heard in the paper, please contact Sophie Skyring via sophie.skyring@archant.co.uk