COMING home – that’s how Jane Fae has described her past year living as a woman.
Later this month, Jane, 53, will undergo gender realignment surgery in Brighton, shedding at last her old life as a man.
Jane, of Church Street, Deeping St James, was born John Ozimek but said things had felt wrong from her teenage years.
At Christmas 2009 she admitted having gender issues to her partner Andrea Fletcher and has been living as a woman for the past year.
Although she admits that not everything has gone “swimmingly”, she has had no regrets about becoming who she really is.
She said: “It has made me incredibly happy. I could describe it as ‘coming home’.
“There is space for me to feel that I could live and breathe in a way that I couldn’t before and there has been lots of discoveries.
“I have discovered lots about femininity, about myself, it is never ending.”
Jane is being treated privately and the treatment is costing £10,000. Otherwise she could have been waiting up to five years for the operation. She began taking hormone therapy in April last year and has anti-testosterone drugs and a drug which corrects a receding hairline.
Her body is becoming more feminine and is losing muscle tone. She is also taking speech therapy to change her voice and has had electrolysis.
Her transition to become a woman has not just resulted in changes for Jane but also for her family.
Jane lives with partner Andrea, their six-year-old son, Rafe, and both their daughters from previous relationships, Megan and Tash.
Jane said: “My daughter has come to terms quite well after a shaky start.
“My six-year-old will use the word ‘Daddy’ but I don’t rate a Father’s Day card as I’m a girl now.
“I think my partner has found it harder than she thought originally, but there are far more implications to having your other half fully transition that you might not think of on day one.
“As with everything else you have to wait and see. Transition is not just a one-off event it is an ongoing process and people find out things about themselves. Every single person in the family has found out things about themselves.”
After a year of taking hormones, Jane has developed breasts and her figure has become more feminine.
“I have learnt how to dress,” she said. “It is learning the tricks of the trade.
“One of the things I have loved a great deal is sisterhood. Women look after each other. Women are very good at supporting each other and basically being nice.
“I go dancing at the Zumba classes at Northborough Village Hall.
“It is lovely as there’s a certain togetherness that isn’t competitive.
“If I was to do sport as a bloke, they are always trying to show off. Women show off a bit but not in the way blokes do.”
Jane praised members of Our Lady and St Guthlac’s Church, in Deeping St James, and staff at the Tesco store in Market Deeping for their reaction to her change.
Unfortunately Jane has received some negative attention from men as a result of the transition, with an incident in Peterborough and on the train when returning from a meeting in London.
Jane also spoke briefly at a protest in London on June 12, which is campaigning for women’s rights and an end to violence against women.
She will give a talk at Deepings Leisure Centre on Wednesday at 7pm.
Jane said: “It will be a public meeting where I can talk openly and talk about the journey.”
But Jane is happy with her choices.
She said: “I don’t have any regrets about going on this journey, I only wish it wasn’t necessary. A lot of transgender people think: ‘It would be nice to have been born the right gender’.
“However I was writing recently on how people go on the tragic narrative: ‘My life was dreadful, then I discovered this and now it’s better’. That makes it look as though your whole life was tragic. People have far worse things happen to them. I get on with it everyone has said things happen in their lives.”