en English


I am 61 years old this year. I have spent the last 55 years like this, not understanding for a great part of my life, who or what I am. It has been a life time of torturous battles, trying to conform to the image that looks back at me from the mirror, seeing a man, but knowing I am a woman. It is not a choice, it is a reality that you cannot change. It is your very being. As part of the battle, you marry to conform, you have children to conform, thinking this will take away these feelings, you pretend every day that you are a man, but you know it is all a great lie, a great deception. The only person you cannot deceive is yourself. Nothing changes, everything remains the same.

How can you explain this? You feel every part a woman, you think like a woman, you want to dress like a woman, you have the sensitive emotions of a woman, you want the complete body of a woman (a vagina, a clitoris, breasts, a figure) you even want to have periods and ovulate. You long to be made pregnant, have a baby, breast feed, love and be loved. You long to be proposed to, accept, walk down the aisle, beautifully enjoy that first night and a life time as a wife. Why am I jealous when I see a woman arm in arm with a man? Why am I jealous when I see a pregnant woman? Why?

Are these the thoughts of a madman, am I deluded, a lunatic or not? After 55 years of trauma and terrors of seeing the wrong body in the mirror, living a lie for a lifetime, I know the truth, as I have always known the truth. I don’t need a specialist to tell me what I have always known. No one but the person suffering can understand what it feels like, the pain, the confusion, the nightmare of being in the wrong body, it is being torn apart daily by some unseen hand. It is a complete mystery to us all. It brings heart ache, sadness and bitterness to those affected by it. Trans people commit suicide, the rates among them are so high, because they cannot cope with the dysphoria, the confusion of mind and body. Wives and children, who find out their father is not what they thought, will suffer greatly. I know this, I love them, but I cannot be both. To my friends and family, I am a man, but to my trans friends, who I have recently come to know, I am a woman. The truth is, that is the real me. My only regret, is not having been brave and knowledgeable enough to have made this decision openly 30 or 40 years ago, but things were so much harder then. There was no support, now there is, times have changed. At some stage I will have to openly tell my wife, family, friends and others.

I cannot wait to be seen by a specialist, that much I know, 3 months is too long, no mind 2 years!. The time periods are just too long. I know I will not make it. My time is running out, my life is passing, I cannot waste a moment. Now I have seriously started on this journey of change, I cannot stop or go back. I don’t believe that anyone can really understand the depth to which gender dysphoria affects the person living with it. It is part of our every day life. It walks with us in the daylight hours and wakes us in the nighttime hours. It is the shadow that will not go away, even when the sun does not shine. It devours our lives.




Dr Helen Webberley is the founder of GenderGP. A passionate advocate for the transgender community, she continues to campaign for real change in the way that trans people are treated in society and particularly in relation to the barriers they face when accessing healthcare. Dr Webberley believes in gender-affirmative care and that the individual is the expert in their own gender identity.