Boy, 10, hangs himself after telling his mother: 'I want to be a girl'


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Nov 27, 2007
Boy, 10, hangs himself after telling his mother: 'I want to be a girl'

By PAUL SIMS - More by this author » Last updated at 21:17pm on 15th February 2008 Comments (29)
Confused: Cameron McWilliams, 10, had few friends and had been a victim of bullying

A boy of ten hanged himself after telling his mother that he wanted to become a girl, an inquest was told yesterday.

Cameron McWilliams, who liked to wear girls' underwear, asked if he could start using make-up just days before committing suicide, the hearing heard.

His mother, who described him as a lonely young boy, told the coroner: "It was apparent he was unhappy and said he wanted to be a girl. He did like girls' things."

She said he had been teased after being found in his half-sister's underwear, but had been forbidden from wearing make-up until he was much older.

Mrs McWilliams, a 31-year-old mother of five, described how she discovered her son's body in the early hours of February 4.

Believing her son had fallen asleep watching television in his half-sister's bedroom, she went upstairs to find him hanging by a black leather belt tied around his neck.

Despite frantic attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead in hospital an hour later.

"When I got in the room he was not asleep," said Mrs McWilliams, from Intake, Doncaster.

"He was standing by the window with a dressing gown on. His head was down and I realised something really serious had happened and I screamed."
She told the hearing that she had first discovered his interest in girls' underwear 18 months ago.

As an open-minded family, they had indulged him and even bought pairs for him to wear under his pyjamas.
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Cameron was found hanged at home in Intake, Doncaster

She said: "I know he was confused and I don't think that he knew how to handle certain issues, and he was curious.

"A few days before he died he said to me that he would like to wear make-up. I said to him: 'When you get older, that's when you can decide what you want to do.'
"He liked to wear women's underwear but he never tried on any of my dresses.

"I loved him no matter what. We had talked about his sexuality but I don't think it troubled him."
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Kelly McWilliams with her family. Back L-R Kelly with Christopher, one, husband Chris McWilliams and Chelsea, 13. Front L-R twins Ebony and Bradley, five and Cameron, eight.

Mrs McWilliams said she refused to believe that her son had committed suicide.

"I just don't know what happened," she added. "The doctors and the police have told us that they believe that it was an experiment that went wrong.

"He may have wanted to see what hanging was like without realising it would take less than a minute to die. He wouldn't have known that.

"I don't believe he wanted to kill himself at all. On the day of his death he was happy as Larry."

Mrs McWilliams said that although her son had not spoken of wanting to harm himself, he had been interested in the recent teenage hangings in Bridgend, South Wales.
"Cameron was interested in the news and told me about the hangings in Wales," she added.

"He just kept saying: 'Have you heard about these hangings, there has been another one'.
"He knew more about it than me."

Although he loved school, his mother said that he refused to mix with the other boys and had, in the past, been a victim of bullying.

Cameron, who hardly saw his biological father, spent all his time at home listening to music and playing on his Xbox computer.
"He was very studious and the most intelligent of my five kids," said Mrs McWilliams.

"He was like a sponge with information, he just soaked it up. He was into current affairs and watched news programmes and documentaries.

"He was into space, galaxies, the universe and evolution. He asked me questions I couldn't answer. He had always wanted to be a scientist."

Chris McWilliams, Cameron's step-father, added: "I think it was just an experiment that went tragically wrong."

Doncaster coroner Stanley Hooper said: "I do not know what was in the mind of this little boy.

"All I know is he was an unhappy little boy and he wore his sister's underclothing, and would be a cause of worry to his mother and stepfather."

The inquest in Doncaster was adjourned to a later date.

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