Patrick Burleigh Writes About Starting Puberty When He Was Age 4

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Patrick Burleigh joins Write About Now to talk about his viral story for New York Magazine entitled, "A Four Year Old Trapped in a Teenager's Body." It’s a moving and often funny personal essay that recounts his childhood living with a rare genetic mutation called testotoxicosis, which caused him to go through puberty -- muscle development, body hair, hormonal sex drive -- at a very early age.


Burleigh talks candidly about his struggle to fit in when he was twice the size of his peers, the humiliating and painful tests he was subjected to in return for medicine his family couldn’t afford, his guilt and shame about raging hormones he didn’t understand, and the reason he’s revealing his big secret all these years later.

He also recounts the amazing story of his great grandfather, who also had testotoxicosis, joining World War 1 at the age of 10.