When I was a boy, I knew I was a boy, but I was living inside a girl’s body. But when I hit puberty and everything happened then, I was very confused.
I thought I would never grow that definitive male object and I suppressed all those feelings. I just felt stuck in a female body.
At age 15, I remember looking at girls and wanting them, and so I thought I was gay. So, I got myself married as I thought a change in my behaviour would change the problem as it was driving me crazy.
At age 18, I was out trying to catch a man. I did the chasing, the proposing and propelled him all the way to the altar. I really figured I did not have much choice.
I stayed in that marriage for 24 years, but I had a horrible time -“ I used to imagine having sex with women and I could not work out who I was.
We had two sons, but at age 35 in 1989 I sat my family down and told them I was coming out as a lesbian. My husband said that was not possible as we had children together, but I had to tell him that this is the way it was.
But when I had my first sexual relationship with a woman, I found it was not the drawing together of two people who were the same that attracted me. It was actually the opposite.
I was at a stage when I was not sure who I was until my first year in university doing my psychology degree when I went in as Anne Brewer and came out as Andrew Blair -“ a name my friends at the gay Christian group Acceptance had given me.
By the early 1990s, I came out to myself openly -“ I had been doing so very deep down since 1989 and I had been very afraid. Well, I was no longer afraid.
At uni, I learnt all about the process. My psychiatrist told me just to go for it and so I did. I really did have none of the trouble that other people do.
From 1992, I had become something of a drag king as I had begun cross-dressing as a man.
I again sat my sons down, this time to tell them I was about to enter a transition and I was going to have surgery and become a man. One son just replied, Well, I guess you will because you always do what you say you will.
I began hormone therapy and the second sexual characteristics began -“ my voice dropped, my hair on my head fell out and I grew hair on other parts of my body which I didn’t know could grow hair.
After a few weeks on the hormones, something just clicked into place and I became so clear. I had all these hormones finally rushing around my male brain.
After I had the mastectomy, I was so happy and had no mourning whatsoever. But I was not able to afford the phalloplasty, and with what I knew about its rate of success, I decided I wouldn’t.
I went through a period of using a prosthesis to stand up to pee, but I always got wet and would rather have dry clothes. I am just me and if anyone says anything, then too bad.
Within weeks of starting the transition, I said to myself that I was now a bloke -“ I just knew it. I then began to remember back to all the times from the past when I had felt like a boy in a girl’s body. Then one day somebody called me a bloody poofter and I thought, Great! I have finally made it.
I then met my wife Jessica, who was born intersex and almost a perfect hermaphrodite. She had known all her life she was female and once she began oestrogen therapy, she began transing into the woman she always was.
We became engaged at the 1998 Pride New Year’s Eve party and had our commitment ceremony on 21 August 1999. In 2003, recognised as man and wife, we were legally allowed to marry.
A few years back, I became involved in the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service as I wanted to be counselling in our community. I am a Christian and I thought if anyone has a question about the church, I think I have the answers as I know about inclusive theology.
While I still get a sense of fulfilment out of it and it makes me feel like I am helping someone out, I now have thoughts of whether I actually belong at GLCS as I am now a straight man.
I used to belong because I was a transsexual, but you can’t be forever transing your sex. There is a time when it is done. I don’t consider myself a trans person any more as I have crossed that line.
But I can’t see myself leaving GLCS as I don’t want to go. I still feel this is my community and when I am here I am doing things that make me feel good and fulfilled. It does seem to get easier as each year goes by.
Interview by John Burfitt