A WIGAN teenager has bravely spoken out about his decision to change gender.
Blake Kerwin has told of his torment growing up and the horrific bullying he has endured for choosing to live his life the way he feels most comfortable.
Born Rebecca, the 17-year-old who changed his name by deed poll says he has known from an early age he was in the wrong body and now impersonates Justin Bieber.
However, the process has been tough in many ways with rejection and torment resulting in him being beaten unconscious and having his house pelted with rocks.
The abuse has also seen Blake placed under police protection and also attempt to take his own life.
Bravely speaking to a national newspaper, he said: “I knew at quite a young age because I was always copying my brother and doing what he was doing and I just didn’t feel right.
“It’s been terrible with my dad, he used to call me by my own name and not Blake and he’s not got me anything for my birthday or Christmas. We don’t see each other any more, he’s got a new girlfriend. He’s asked my mum why I don’t dress more girly and told her it’s embarrassing to be seen out with me.
“Now I help people. There’s a group online where people can post online about when they start their operations or when they start [taking testosterone] or recent pictures before and after and I know quite a few people who are going through it.”
Blake’s mother, Sharon, 52, spoke of her pride of her son’s decision and the way he helps others. She also told the national newspaper how Blake used his similarities with Justin to cheer up a sick little girl.
She said: “I knew there was something because I would try and dress him up, not thinking and doing his hair with girly things.
“He would say I don’t like this and I would tell him it looks good and he would go along with it but he was never really happy. I knew there was something but I could never put my finger on it.
“Even then he would come home and take the girl clothes off and put on football stuff.
“They are saying he’s an inspiration. There was a boy whose little sister was sick, she was only three and dying from cancer, and he asked if Blake would take a picture of himself looking like Justin and put her name on and he said ‘thank you so much, it meant everything.’”
Blake also says that the connection with the Canadian singer is also more than just looking like him. He added: “It didn’t matter how many times I got knocked on the floor. I’ve had physical abuse and hate but Justin’s words bring me back up again.
“I’ve had my shades on and my hat backwards and I went into Blackpool and a small girl came up and her mum asked if she could have her picture taken with me because she thought I really was Justin.”