Jacob Lemay, 5, hated his old name, "Mia," and didn't like being a girl.
Jacob is biologically a female, but his Massachusetts parents agreed to his request to raise him as a boy last June when he was only four years old.
“That’s the kind of psychological burden that I don’t think anyone should have to deal with, and especially not my child,” Jacob’s mother Mimi told CBS Boston (video below).
Jacob's parents claims he began talking about not wanting to be a girl at age two, and was withdrawn and sad.
“[Jacob] started insisting that it’s not that she liked boy things, but that she was a boy,” Mimi recalled.
Jacob’s father Joe added, “He was showing real signs of a lot of shame and self-hatred."
Joe and Mimi say they educated themselves on transgender young people, and were worried about the suicide rate.
“We realized how risky it is to not take action and not to allow that child to become who they feel that they are,” Joe stated.
However, Jacob has not taken any hormones or undergone surgery. Instead, his parents cut his hair, renamed him and enrolled him in a new school.
According to the American Psychological Association, "Some children express a great deal of distress about their assigned sex at birth or the gender roles they are expected to follow. Some children experience difficult social interactions with peers and adults because of their gender expression."
"Parents may become concerned when what they believed to be a 'phase' does not pass. Parents of gender-nonconforming children may need to work with schools and other institutions to address their children’s particular needs and ensure their children’s safety."
"It is helpful to consult with mental health and medical professionals familiar with gender issues in children to decide how to best address these concerns. It is not helpful to force the child to act in a more gender-conforming way. Peer support from other parents of gender-nonconforming children may also be helpful."
The Lemays admit that Jacob could transition back to being a girl, even though he is sure he is a boy, but also believe that confusion is better than possible suicide.
“I want to change the way that society perceives and accepts transgender people,” Mimi added. “Because this is the society that my son will grow up in.”