Kyle Smith had crushing parental separation anxiety and, until he was 10 years old, not a single friend in the world. How could he? He couldn't even say his own name. He had not gone to school for more than a week since first grade. His family and the school had tried everything, from a rewards system to the principal carrying him physically into the building, but it was never long before he had a massive anxiety attack and had to go home.

"Dr. Spack and his team told us that his anxiety, his school, everything would be fine, when he lived fully as a boy," recalls his mom, Aileen. "And of course they were right. Everything." They had to move from a small college town in central Maine to another city in that state in order to do that — they later won a large settlement from their original school district when the school superintendent refused to cooperate — but once he walked into the first day of sixth grade at his new school with his new name, his male pronouns, his boy haircut, and boy clothes, he introduced himself to his new friends and never looked back.

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