When Kim, 50 married truck driver Derek,63 in 1984, she never realised he would become her wife…
Derek was always a bit different to the rest of the children at school and his family were convinced he “wasn’t right.” When he left school they encouraged him to work in a “man’s trade,” so he took up jobs on a building site, truck driver and farm labourer. He hated all of them, these were no jobs for a woman, because that was who he really was.
He met Kim in 1980 and they fell in love and married at a church service 1984. They went onto to have two children, but Kim always knew there was something not right about her husband. Occasionally she would catch him wearing women’s clothes. She was shocked but she stuck by him.
Their two children (now 26,29) didn’t know there was anything wrong with their dad. But eventually in 1999 he couldn’t take it any longer and confessed to Kim, he actually wanted to be a woman. Again she was totally shocked but she decided to stick by him. He was her husband after all, but for how long?
In 2005 after years of counselling from the NHS, Derek was granted a full-sex change. Derek became Sophie.
He took hormones, his Adam’s apple was shaved and also gender reassignment. Sophie was now finally a woman. However, just before she was about to get breast augmentation, she found a lump in her breasts (which had grown due to the hormone treatment) and had to under-go a double mastectomy.
Sophie suffers from nerve damage, and MS now doesn’t work and Kim is his full-time carer.
They live on a quiet cul-de-sac and the neighbours are fine with it. When they go out together they sometimes get abuse from strangers in the street, but it is something they have learnt to deal with.
They still live together as a married couple but they have no sex life, their two children, still love their dad, even though he isn’t anymore. Unfortunately Sophie’s family have all rejected him.
Sophie says, “Everyone on my side of the family have disowned me. They simply can’t understand that Derek was never really me. I was always Sophie.”
Tina says, “It has been really hard for me, but I loved Derek and always will, no matter what he looks like.”