OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – An Omaha couple says their 8-year-old son has asked for years to wear dresses and change his name, so they’re enrolling him in a new school where he can live as a girl. (KCAUTV)

The parents say their middle child is transgender, and he’s asked to be called girl since age 4.

The family, which is not being identified to protect them from possible harm, met with therapists before deciding to switch the child’s gender affiliation.

He’s been allowed to dress as a girl at home, but has had to dress and act as a boy in public. That will soon change.

The child recently completed second grade at a Catholic school. His parents agreed to allow him to enter third grade as a girl, but the church won’t allow it.

So, the child will enroll in public school – as a girl.

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His name is Katie.

An 8-year-old child in Omaha is tossing away the last of his boy clothes after finding a school and church that will accept him for who he says he is inside – a little girl.

Born Ben, he was thrown out of Catholic school and church when his parents, after taking him to a shrink, finally let “Katie” live as a girl, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

His parents spent years trying to downplay Ben’s true feelings, hoping it was just a phase.

But they relented when he insisted he would not attend his First Communion earlier this month unless he could wear a pretty white dress.

Their church said absolutely not, so the parents found a new one that let them.

Doctors say Ben has all the signs of what is medically known as gender identity disorder – and it has been known to arise early in childhood.

Advocates for transgender individuals argue that once someone like Ben decides he is a girl, he should be called by his chosen female name and referred to as “she.”

As young as age 2, Ben did everything he could to live as Katie.

He wore sweatpants around his head to mimic ponytails and dressed as a princess for Halloween. And he hated boy things – especially his body.

He would ask his parents when God was going to give him girl parts, the Omaha newspaper reported.

The paper displayed a hand drawing by the child, who was asked in class to draw a picture of something that made him mad.

He drew a picture of a boy and himself as a girl and wrote at the bottom, “I feel angry when someone calls me a boy.”

That may change next year: Teachers at his new school have already agreed to call him Katie.

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