Agents of change – By Haley Mick

Transgender Canadians are coming out at younger ages, raising a host of new and sensitive issues

As a child, Adrian Daniels wore hockey jerseys. He dreamed of marrying figure-skating champion Katarina Witt. And each night before he went to bed, he prayed that he would wake up the next morning with something he had always wanted: a penis.

“I always knew I was a man,” says the Toronto native, now a frank 20-year-old with a neatly trimmed beard, pierced eyebrow and confident swagger.

Adrian’s transition from female to male included an official name change at the age of 16, male hormones at 18, and breast-removal surgery a year later.

With each step, he bumped into people who argued that his feelings were temporary, banished him from the boys’ washroom, or made him pay for being different with taunts and fists. “They thought I was a freak,” he says.