A MUM is supporting her gender-fluid child’s decision to ‘live as a girl’ after a two-year battle with crippling anxiety.

Kayleigh Woodward’s 11-year-old child Elliott spent years suffering from anxiety attacks, loneliness and not fitting in.

But at the age of nine Elliott finally opened up to Kayleigh, telling her they had been in constant turmoil and had felt uncomfortable in their own skin for years.

Elliott – who prefers to be called ‘they’ as opposed to ‘he’ or ‘she’ – told Kayleigh they realised they didn’t feel they identified with any specific gender.

Kayleigh said: “Elliott did not know what was wrong in their head, they just knew something wasn’t right.

“I didn’t know about their gender issues but a couple of years ago I was having to go into the school every couple of days because Elliott could not cope with daily life in school.

“They were withdrawn and didn’t have friends and just could not associate with people.

“I felt like there was something wrong and we had a talk about it and I said ‘what do you want to do. I love you no matter what.’ and Elliott said ‘I want to wear girl’s clothes and have long hair’.

“But they said they were scared to do it in case they upset me but I just gave them a massive hug and said ‘we will do anything that you need to make you comfortable and happy’. We went shopping the next day and got new clothes and Elliot went from a very unhappy wee boy to a happy non-binary child.”

Kayleigh made the decision to take Elliott out of school and home educate them to improve their happiness after their anxiety got so bad they were hospitalised.

She said: “Elliott has overcome really crippling anxiety and had to leave school because their anxiety was so bad. They went into hospital with suspected appendicitis and in the end it was all down to anxiety. We have been home educating for over a year now and Elliott is like a different child, so happy and healthy.

“The most simple thing like fitting-in was so hard, and I couldn’t understand what was wrong because you just don’t expect your child to tell you that they don’t feel like a boy or a girl.

“But now Elliott prefers to use gender-fluid pronouns like they and them as opposed to he and she.

“Elliott’s gran Deborah has been a major part of Elliott feeling so comfortable. She has accepted, supported and shown so much love to Elliott.

“We are so proud that they are brave enough to come out. It has been so hard for them.”

Elliott is now on the waiting list for the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow where professionals will be able to offer help and advice to them.