It is the story sparking strong reactions around the world. A baby girl was born and lovingly cared for in a pink nursery. She grew into an adorable blond toddler. But in a YouTube video, which has gone viral with over 3.5 million views, little Ryland’s parents explain that as soon as she could speak, she said, ‘I’m a boy."
Jeff and Hillary Whittington from San Diego say they consulted professionals and realized their daughter's desire to be a boy was more than just a Tomboy phase.
Dr. Richard Besser is ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor and author of Tell Me the Truth Doctor. He told INSIDE EDITION, "It is very common for many little girls to be Tomboys, to want to do boy activities, for many boys to want to play with dolls. But here, gender activity is different. It is not just wanting to do activities, it is knowing inside that you actually are the opposite sex."
See What Else Besser Had To Say
When Ryland was just five years old, the Whittington's decided to change her identity, cutting her hair, and buying Ryland only boys clothes. They say Ryland stopped feeling shame and started being happy.
Now, a debate is raging over whether they made the right choice.
“How can one determine the psychological gender of a child before they reach puberty? This child’s parents should be charged with child abuse!,” said one comment.
There's heartfelt support for the family as well, with one comment saying, "This child was consistent in his behavior and desire to change genders for years. The parents listened. You do not need to be an adult to know who you are."
Dr. Besser said, "Children and adults who are transgender have a really rough time in life. Suicide attempts are 10 times that of the general population. The earlier you can truly identify that someone is truly transgender, I think they are going to have an easier time in their life."