The Malta Independent 22 March 2023, Wednesday
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Watch: 8-year-old transgender presents her book, tells children to be brave as ‘there’s hope’

Gabriel Schembri Thursday, 2 June 2016, 11:39 Last update: about 8 years ago

8-year-old transgender child Willa Naylor this morning presented her book to the Minister for Education Evarist Bartolo and the Minister for Family and Social Solidarity Helena Dalli.

The book, which goes by the name 'Truly Willa', describes Willa's story as she experiences this drastic change in her life at a very young age.

As she herself described it, Truly Willa is a book by a child, but which is also an important read for adults. "I published this book so that I can share my story, in my very own words."

Willa's mother, Beck, said that she admires their child for her courage, to tell her story as a transgender child.

Asked about Willa's future, Beck is not particularly concerned. "I understand that a transgender's life is not the easiest. But how can you say no when your daughter wants to do something so beautiful."

Speaking to journalists after the presentation, Willa said that the book is about her transitioning. "I would like to help a lot of kids in the world, and I hope that a lot of people buy the book."

She also passed on a message to other children in the world who feel different. "Be brave, even when it's hard. There's hope at the end of the tunnel."

Minister Helena Dalli said that this book is very useful for adults. "We don't choose how we are born, and we should help every child to explore their full potential."

Minister Evarist Bartolo said that diversity and equality serve as a basis to our education. He said that in local schools, the voice of the children is still the weakest, "and that is why we want to promote works by children so that they express themselves."


Willa was born as a boy. From a very young age, she felt different and told her parents that she felt she was a girl. The parents allowed her to dress like a girl while indoors until she understands better how it feels. Later, her parents let her dress and be like a girl outside as well.

Willa was born and raised in Malta. 

Photos: Jonathan Borg

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