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“I Like That About Me.”

Year in Review: 2008

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Through December 24, BU Today is looking back at the mostpopular stories of the year. We’ll be back with new stories for the newyear on Monday, January 5. Happy holidays!

Most children dream of possessing the magical ability to fly, to be invisible, or to talk to animals.

But as a young boy growing up in Jefferson City, Mo., Emeri Burks wished only to be a girl. “I prayed every day for the body that would fix things, that would make everything right,” recalls Burks (CAS’08). “More than anything, I wanted to be anatomically and biologically female.”

It wasn’t until sophomore year of high school that Burks learned of a word that explained the feelings he had wrestled with for years: transsexual. “A transsexual is someone who identifies with the opposite gender of his or her born sex,” Burks says. “For me, it means that in spite of what my body, my doctors, my teachers, and society have told me, I am — and always have been — female.”

Last summer, Burks underwent sexual reassignment surgery, and today she has the body she wished for as a child. In the video above, she describes her transition from a deeply depressed boy to a much happier young woman.

“At last,” she says, “I am whole.”

Robin Berghaus can be reached at berghaus@bu.edu. Vicky Waltz can be reached at vwaltz@bu.edu.

This story originally ran March 20, 2008.

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