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World's youngest transexual, 12

A boy believed to be the youngest sex change patient in the world wants to bring forward the operation two years.

The German youngster, christened Tim and now called Kim, was allowed to start hormone treatment at the age of 12.

Now aged 14, Kim told Germany's Stern TV his dearest wish was to have the final cosmetic surgery to remove male genitalia when he is 16.

Under German law the operation can not take place until Kim is 18, which would mean either a law change or travelling abroad.

Pictures of him on German TV showed Kim looking like a typical teenage girl, playing with strands of his long hair while seated in the pink attic bedroom of his parents' house.

He keeps a piggybank filled with change he has been saving for the operation - since the age of five, even though all the costs so far have been paid by the German National Health Service.

When he was just two Tim tried on his older sister's clothes and played with Barbies. As soon as he could speak he told his parents "I'm a girl" and later had a row where he declared he wanted to "cut off my thing".

His father, named only as Lutz P. for legal reasons, said they realised then it was not just a phase and that the problem was serious.

Kim's mother, who has not been named, said: "If your child has a heart defect you send him to a specialist, but when your child is transsexual, everyone seems to have an opinion."

Kim's family turned to Dr. Bernd Meyenburg, head of a clinic for children with identity disturbances at Frankfurt university. He has studied transsexuality since the 1970s but said Kim was a "real dilemma".

He said: "If we do something about it, it's irreversible. And if we allow nature to take its course, that too is irreversible." He added however that: "it would have been a crime to let Kim grow up as a man".

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