Salem 10-year-old: "I thought I would be more comfortable as a b - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Salem 10-year-old: "I thought I would be more comfortable as a boy than a girl."

SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

At 10-years-old Ben has it all figured out.

He knows he wants to play soccer. He knows he wants to grow up to be a veterinarian. And, he knows he's meant to be a boy.

"I didn't want to be a girl, because it wasn't who I think I was supposed to be when I was born," Ben Oelhafen said.

Ben was born as Angela. At 2, he was diagnosed with autism. At 6, he said he first knew he was in the wrong body.

"I thought I would be more comfortable as a boy than a girl," he said.

That's how he's been living the last few weeks, with the outside finally matching the inside.

"I will love my son for who he is. But this is a road I never wanted him to have to travel," Ben's mom Jenifer Sutton said.

She and his stepdad said they've known about his feelings for two years. But now, Ben's in a race against puberty.

"I'm going to take boy hormones and block those ladies," Ben Oelhafen said.

He wants to block the thing he's afraid of: Developing into a woman.

"Puberty suppression eliminates those negative changes and allows them to develop in a way that matches their gender identity," Transactive Gender Center Executive Director Jenn Burleton said.

She works with kids like Ben Oelhafen every day. She said a common option, one that he's considering, is what's known as hormone blocking. It would essentially put puberty on pause.

"Their physiology may not be holding off. Their physiology may be maturing them," she said. "So, the beauty of puberty blockers is if we feel they may not be cognitively able to make decisions that would involve irreversible actions, puberty blockers are completely reversible."

If Ben Oelhafen decides he doesn't want to reverse it, he could take cross sex hormones later to become physically male. That's a choice Jenifer Sutton said is entirely up to her son.

"I love and accept you through autism," she said. "I will love and accept you through transgender."

She and her husband hope, through all this, Ben can just be Ben.

"That would be awesome," Ben Oelhafen said.

Burleton said statistics show that more than 80 percent of transgender kids who don't have a support system think about suicide.

Ben Oelhafen's parents said that's their worst fear. They hope with enough love and support that will never be an option for their son.

For more information about transgender issues or the Transactive Gender Center visit  http://www.transactiveonline.org/

Copyright 2014 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • K-9 police procession to crematory held on Wednesday

    K-9 police procession to crematory held on Wednesday

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 9:54 PM EDT2017-03-30 01:54:59 GMT
    (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)

    Rosco, the Crowley police K-9 officer who was shot and killed during an overnight shooting last week, was honored on Wednesday in a special procession.

    More >>

    Rosco, the Crowley police K-9 officer who was shot and killed during an overnight shooting last week, was honored on Wednesday in a special procession.

    His handler officer, Tate Thibodeaux, was hospitalized in the shooting.

    More >>
  • LIVE RADAR: Strong to severe storms possible now through this evening, tornado watch in effect

    LIVE RADAR: Strong to severe storms possible now through this evening, tornado watch in effect

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 9:53 PM EDT2017-03-30 01:53:45 GMT
    Strong storms possible this afternoon and eveningStrong storms possible this afternoon and evening

    Thunderstorms will slowly move east across Southwest Louisiana this afternoon and evening.  Any of these could produce damaging straight-line winds in excess of 60 mph.  There is also a possibility that a few storms could produce isolated tornadoes and large hail. 

    More >>

    Thunderstorms will slowly move east across Southwest Louisiana this afternoon and evening.  Any of these could produce damaging straight-line winds in excess of 60 mph.  There is also a possibility that a few storms could produce isolated tornadoes and large hail. 

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    More than 2,500 without power near Iowa, nearly 7,000 without power in SWLA

    More than 2,500 without power near Iowa, nearly 7,000 without power in SWLA

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 9:34 PM EDT2017-03-30 01:34:41 GMT

    About 2,500 Beauregard Electric Co-Op customers are currently without power. As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, BECi's power outage map lists 2,578 customers without power. There is no estimated service return time. Customers experiencing an outage or hazardous situation are asked to call 800-367-0275. A severe thunderstorm is moving across Southwest Louisiana. The latest on weather conditions HERE. Entergy also shows 221 customers without power in the Sulphur area. C...

    More >>

    About 2,500 Beauregard Electric Co-Op customers are currently without power. As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, BECi's power outage map lists 2,578 customers without power. There is no estimated service return time. Customers experiencing an outage or hazardous situation are asked to call 800-367-0275. A severe thunderstorm is moving across Southwest Louisiana. The latest on weather conditions HERE. Entergy also shows 221 customers without power in the Sulphur area. C...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly