Recently I met a trans woman; for the sake of anonymity, I will call her Lisa and change some locations. Everything else is true.
When meeting Lisa, I did not realise she was trans; she had beautiful blonde wavy hair, stunning eyes with long lashes, and gorgeous smooth skin. She also had a lovely figure; her boobs peaked from her low cut top - yes, I was more than a tad jealous.
We got chatting, and only then did she tell me she was trans. "How old are you? I asked, assuming she would say the late twenties - "I am 48" she replied.
Jaw drop time.
Frankly, I could barely believe it but then came a story that I was never ever expecting.
"I was born in Rome but moved to London when I was two. I never knew who my father was - I lived with my mum and stepdad. I guess I was not the best-behaved child, but we muddled along until my mum said she was going on holiday alone when I was fifteen.
She went but never came back.
Naturally, I was very upset; I guess my behaviour became unbearable to the point that my stepdad kicked me out.
I decided to leave for Rome; my stepdad was Italian, so, fortunately, I was fluent in the language. Unable to get a job, I started doing sex work and became an addict, mainly crack cocaine. I tried several times to kick the habit, going into rehab but always falling back to doing drugs. Then I started to get into trouble with the police, so I decided to move back to London for a fresh start. My drug habit immediately kicked off again, so it was back to rehab, but again it failed.
I overdosed several times, either by accident or on purpose, I flatlined three times, but the medics brought me back each time.
I was doing drugs for a total of twenty years when I suddenly realised I was trans. Doing drugs was the way I covered up the problems I had with my identity.
That was in 2015.
I contacted GenderGP. I talked to Helen Webberley. I was still on crack at that time, I dont recall if I told her or not, but she prescribed me Estrogen, and from that moment, I have never touched drugs - I never wanted to.
My life changed in days. I got a job, a home.
Okay, I am far from rich, but I am alive and happy. Looking back, I know I am so lucky, I should be dead, but I'm not".
At that point, tears were in my eyes. I was thinking of Helen, in Manchester, being accused of various malpractices by the GMC.
Do we live in a fair world?
No, we certainly dont.
But there are a few shining lights in this world, sometimes though it takes some time before people realise who they are.
Let's hope Helen is not one of them.
Authored by Steph @Place Steph