I am Vicky-Marie Hogan, a 57 year old trans woman living on the Isle of Wight with my cis fiancé Claire. We work together, running the IOW charity: Wild Bird Aid.
Ever since I was very young I knew something was different. I enjoyed girlie things such as playing with dolls and my sisters practicing make up on me. I felt awkward somehow. Up until 10 or 11 years ago I suffered from major depression and it was at that point that I finally started to understand my true identity, and the depression disappeared. I now understand I was suffering from gender dysphoria.
When I was old enough to start work I took on a number of male dominated roles including: fireman, military police officer, police officer finally settling into a role as counsellor working with various groups including young offenders. During that time I married, divorced and married again and had five children. I emigrated to Canada with my wife and started a life there.
Throughout all of this time I knew I was gender variant, but my true identity was a complete and total secret. Then, about eight years ago, I became ill and I made the decision to come out. For the next four years I came under relentless attack from all sorts of people, including my own children. I even had my home taken away four times in one year.
I eventually left Canada after being disowned by literally my whole family. I lost my whole life and left after 18 years with nothing but a small blue suitcase. I arrived in the UK two years ago as Vicky-Marie and I haven’t looked back.
I have undergone facial electrolysis and have applied for funding for breast augmentation. The process of transitioning brings many realisations. One of which is that I had no idea how to be a man.
The careers I chose all came with a ready made male identity, I was doing what I thought a man does, basically winging it. I also realised I wasn’t a straight man but a gay woman, and I realised I always felt uncomfortable and body conscious as a man.
I have been and still am subjected to abuse discrimination and harassment including five incidents of hate crime from neighbours. Nevertheless I am the most content I have ever been and, for the most part, I am happy especially with my amazing fiancé to share this journey with. I feel completely comfortable authentic and natural and liberated living my life as the true woman that I have always been.
I cannot imagine ever wearing the smallest item of male clothing or presenting any way as male. I can hardly even recall living as a man all those years. It’s as if my old self is someone I knew about but have never met. I am in the process of ridding myself of what I call my male infection and learning, as all young girls do, how to be a woman.
I’m almost complete and once I have completed transition and I will simply be a woman and no longer a trans woman. I look forward to what’s left of my life being who I always should have been, being the wife of the love of my life, rescuing rehabilitating and then releasing sick and injured wild birds.
I have also been involved in trans support work. I have featured in Soldier magazine, national/ county papers/ radio and several education sessions for Department Of Work and Pensions, the Samaritans and the IOW Business Women group. I was also on the main stage at the first ever IOW Pride.
My hope is that through this work I can help promote understanding and education and to dispel the assumptions and myths held by so many about trans men and women.
When you decide to transition you focus almost entirely on being who you were supposed to be, my advice is not to forget that that person was always there, you just need to give them a voice.
Thank you Dr Webberley and staff for helping me to begin my transition as quickly as possible. In spite of everything, I can say I have absolutely no regret about my decision to transition and finally nature’s mistake is almost corrected.