A teenager from Cornwall who came out as transgender at the age of 14 says he felt constantly agitated as a child, as it is revealed that Childline carried out more than 6,000 counselling sessions about gender and sexuality with young people last year.

Miles Everitt, 19, has spoken about coming out as transgender as thousands of children counselled for worries about gender or sexual identity.

“Gender identity had never been mentioned while I was growing up. At this point I wasn’t suffering, I was just constantly agitated and without thinking I would do things, even before I knew what trans was, that would present more masculine," he said.

“I accidentally developed a hunch to hide my breasts, and it’s stuck with me, and that’s something that will affect me for the rest of my life. I didn’t realise I was doing it to counteract what I couldn’t fix at the time.”

Among counselling sessions delivered by the NSPCC-run service, there was a 40 per cent increase in concerns about coming out, from 1,508 counselling sessions in 2017/18 to 2,110 in 2018/19.

Miles discovered what being transgender was because of the TV and social media, and came out in a video he posted on facebook, to mixed reactions from his family and friends.

His mother has been extremely supportive of him and explained his gender identity to his headteacher.

He said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better headteacher regardless of if I’d had this situation or not. By the next day the teachers had had morning briefing and when I was in class at 9am that morning, the register was called and the teacher called ‘Miles’. The headteacher had briefed every teacher in the school.”

Munroe Bergdorf, model, activist and Childline LGBTQ+ campaigner said: “There’s nothing wrong with being LGBTQ+, expressing your gender or even being unsure of your gender. No-one should ever make you feel like you shouldn’t exist because you feel differently to them.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that your emotions or feelings don’t matter because if you hear it enough it will break you. Find friends, teachers, parents or organisations like Childline who you can open up to and express any worries or concerns you have.”

The NSPCC wants to remind all young people that Childline is confidential and there for them if they have any concerns about their gender or sexual identity.

Miles, who will be studying at the University of Plymouth in September, said: “If someone if struggling with their gender identity, the first thing I would say is think about you.

“Think about what you want and what you think before you speak to other people about it because other people will always impact what you think and what you say regardless of whether you think they are going to. You need to decide what it is for you first.

“If people aren’t getting the support they require at school or at the doctors, Childline is always there. Schools have opening and closing times, Childline doesn’t.”

Children as young as 11 who spoke to Childline about their gender or sexual identity spoke about experiences of bullying and issues with their mental or emotional health.

Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline seven days a week on 0808 800 5000, or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

Children can call Childline anonymously on 0800 11 11 or www.childline.org.uk any time of the day or night.