It took me a long time - and a lot of self-denial - before I could accept that I was female.
Coming out was difficult. I lost a few friends and my job. I never imagined that would be an issue and yet it was, and still is. My family really struggled with me coming out. They always knew there was something different about me but assumed I was a gay male. We have a brilliant relationship now, and they completely accept me as female. And from day one, my partner always saw me as female.
It took over a year to get my Gender Recognition Certificate. It was soul destroying and dehumanising. If the people I know could accept me as female, why couldn’t a panel of people I never met?
My application was sent back to me half a dozen times. Every rejection was another kick. No wonder my gender specialist doctor asked me why I was bothering. I practically had to beg him to help provide the evidence I needed to jump through the ridiculous hoops of the process.
The system doesn't work. It needs to be fixed.'
People shouldn't have to fight so hard to be recognised. The system doesn't work. It needs to be fixed. To get this reform would be incredible.
It meant a lot to me to finally and legally be recognised as a woman. And I know it would mean a lot to others as well.