Leanne Mills’s voice could never be mistaken for a man’s.
With a perfect complexion and feminine hands, she said: “I can never be a woman. I was born male and it has taken me years to accept the truth that I am biologically still a man, whatever female hormones I swallow and whatever bits have been cut off me.
“Today it’s trendy to be trans, especially among the young. I want to warn them that a man can never become a real woman, or vice versa. They are being oversold an impossible dream. They are being tricked.”
Leanne spoke with emotion. She was 34 years old when she had sex-change surgery. Now, 57, she said that she has lived in a twilight world where, despite having passed the 11-plus and being bright, she has had only a string of dead-end jobs, has never found love, and remains a virgin.
Even though she doesn’t regret having had surgery, she wants to warn others not to rush it.
Born Lee Antony, she started to feel she was in a wrong body at the age of 4.
“I hated my male self and couldn’t even look at my body naked in the mirror,” she expressed. “Dressing as a woman made me feel happy.”
During her 17th birthday, she told her parents she didn’t want to be a boy anymore. Her dad, Geoff, told his then teenage son: “Oh Lee, all the doctors can do for you is cut it off.”
The 57-year-old said that she now realized what her father meant, saying: “I realise now my father was right. He knew, as I do, that I could never become a biological girl. I am only a facsimile of a woman.”
Leanne, then Lee, threatened to take her own life if she couldn’t become a girl. “I have seen my family torn asunder, friends turning away and my hopes of ever finding love dashed,” she expressed. “I have been denied children and, therefore, grandchildren — the important relationships that other women enjoy at my time of life.
“I want to warn others of the reality of being a transsexual, and the tragedies it can bring.”
When she was 19, she was chosen to star in a TV film titled What Am I?, which discussed the phenomenon of transsexualism.
“I guess I must have been the first “trans” teenager to speak publicly,” she shared. “But knowing what I know today, watching the young me starting out on my long road made me feel profoundly sad.”
Leanne recently wrote a letter to the Mail, voicing her concerns about the proposed Gender Recognition Bill. It is backed by trans activists and Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee.
The Bill would also make it easier for trans people to ‘self-identify’ and live as the opposite sex to the gender they were born into.
Leanne warns that the proposed Bill is unlikely to become a ‘magic wand’ that would bring public acceptance of trans people.
“Trans success stories are widely publicised, yet failures seldom are,” she wrote to the Mail. “I have the gravest concern regarding the implications of the Government’s proposed trans self-identification Bill and its effect on confused young people.
“Today’s rather reckless and, if I may say, irresponsible “trendy to be trans” culture (which social media helps to promote) is pushing many of them towards making life-changing and irreversible surgical decisions.
“I cannot stress enough that it is absolutely essential to have in place medical checks and adequate preparation (which the Bill seeks to remove) before “crossing over”. What if he or she discovers too late that they are not trans after all but, in fact, gay, a cross-dresser or asexual?”
She continued: “I once had high hopes of realising my teenage dream when I left hospital after surgery in 1995. All was well for some “golden years” when I went clubbing and living life as a woman. However, it all unravelled because I cannot entirely escape the chains of my male origins.
“I don’t want others considering an irreversible transition to end up like me, lost in a twilight world of loneliness.”
Her story is a salutary one. Living alone in the house where she grew up, Leanne rarely goes out and only does to buy groceries.
She did not attend her father’s funeral in 2000 as she didn’t want to embarrass her mother, who told only a few people that her child Lee was now Leanne.
“Even though I reconciled with my mother after my dad’s death, she would ask me to pretend I was a niece, or even still her son called Lee, if I phoned her up when friends or relatives were with her.”
When her mother passed away, she found herself ostracized at the funeral. “Even at the grave, some of those line-dancing friends turned their backs on me when “Lee” turned out to be a woman called Leanne.”
After her operation, Leanne hoped she would make female friends to talk and spend time with. She visited a gym and saw that some of the women were walking around naked.
“I just had to leave. If I’d joined, how could I not have told them I was biologically a man?”
When she applied to Women’s Institute, they turned her down for membership as they didn’t accept trans women at the time.
She then started to look for boyfriends. “I’d met the first guy through a singles group. When I said what had happened to me, he just started shouting at me in front of the other customers before driving off, leaving me there with everyone staring,” she recalled.
Her second date told her: “Wouldn’t it be funny if you turned out to be a bloke?” He got up and departed as well.
The third man also left her high and dry after she told him the truth.
Leanne says her life now is lonely and she warns others not to make hasty decisions, especially when they’re still young.
“The propagandists tell them it’s a bed of roses and they will be accepted by society. They think they’ll find the right partner, that it will all be wonderful.”
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