"Jeremy was a clear-cut case. He came in completely ready. He was definitely ready," said Jo Olson, Jeremy's doctor.
"When you start giving someone hormones of the opposite gender, they go through a puberty. That's exactly what they go through," said Olson, an adolescent medicine specialist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "We are trying to get male patterned hair -- so beard, mustache, a little bit more body hair. We are aiming for a deepening of the voice."
"I'm very grateful to have had that experience, to be just a teenaged boy. And now I'm sort of on the same level as the guys I know who are biologically male," Jeremy said. "I'm not stunted anymore."
Last year, Jeremy was a typical high school senior. His name was legally changed after his 16th birthday. He received good grades at school, is accepted by his peers, passes as a boy and looks forward to college enrolled as a male. And like many young men his age, he worries about dating -- other men.
"I could have been a straight woman. But then I would have been someone's girlfriend. And that's … that's not right. What I want to be is someone's boyfriend. That's what feels right," Jeremy said.
It's not unusual for transgender people to identify as gay. That's because your gender doesn't really determine your romantic attractions, according to Olson.
"There is a big difference between sexuality, or who you're sexually attracted to, and what gender you identify with," she said.
Although surgery is expensive and not covered by insurance, Jeremy, now 18, decided to undergo procedures to remove his breasts. He also attended his senior prom and heads off to college this fall as an honors student. Surgery below the waist -- to create an artificial penis -- is not an option, he says, because the results are often disappointing.
"The surgery for male-to-female transsexuals is a lot better and more realistic than the female-to-male [process]," he said. "It's depressing. Part of me wants to say that it's not fair that I have to stay this way, and that nothing can be done about it. I'm a big believer in the power of medicine to heal. I can't be helped, and that's frustrating."
Betsy and Peter say they will stand behind him. They've accepted that their daughter is now their son, even if a small part of them still wonders whether Rebecca might come back.
"There are times when I can still hold that over myself," Betsy said. "And that was the thing that I think kept me from fully accepting Jeremy. But I've learned so much from our child. You can't predict the future. And you can't control it."
Jeremy has no regrets. Asked what he saw when he looked at pictures of Rebecca, Jeremy said, "I just see someone whose eyes aren't really smiling."
"I'm so much happier than I was before I came out and transitioned. The feeling of wrongness is gone," he said. "I feel for the first time in my life as though I am in the right body. I feel like, the world sees me as I see myself."
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