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Ayla Holdom

 

'Before I came out I hadn’t realised how much capacity I was using in pretending to be this male character. It was only after I transitioned and managed to shed all of those pretences that I realised how much that was taking up both emotionally and mentally.  Life has just been infinitely brighter since coming out.'

 

Ayla Holdom is the first openly transgender RAF pilot.* She joined their search and rescue team in 2008. *[Ayla says that others quietly preceded her, but were not public ... and she is 'standing on the shoulders of giants'].

 

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Stephanie Hirst

 

'By the time I decided to transition I was at the top of my game, doing the biggest breakfast show outside of London. I became imprisoned in my own success - I felt like I would lose everything if I came out. But I couldn’t carry on, I had to transition or die - there was no middle ground. The advice I’d give to anyone who feels like they’re questioning their gender identity is to talk. Don't bottle this up.' 

 

Stephanie Hirst is a successful transgender radio and TV presenter. 

 

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Jake Graf

 

'From the age of about two I would tell my parents that I was a boy and ask why I didn't look like the other boys. As puberty approached there was a feeling of dread. After many years of hesitation and deliberation I realised I still hadn't found my place. By the time I was in my mid-twenties I knew I was definitely transgender. I was lucky that my friends and family were very supportive. My only regret is that I transitioned so late.' 

 

Jake Graf is a transgender model and film maker. He transitioned from female to male at the age of 29. 

 

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Katie Cornhill

 

'I've been in a couple of what are stereotypically very macho environments. My choice was to be open and honest with my colleagues. I felt that the journey was mine but it was everyone else's around me as well, and that this was an opportunity for everyone in the organisation to learn something about a trans person and the trans community.'

 

Katie Cornhill is a watch manager for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and previously spent six years as a Royal Marine. She transitioned six years ago.

 

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Jane Fae

 

'Everything about transition for me has been positive. Suddenly most of my life makes sense - before it used to be like being in a foreign country and feeling overwhelmed trying to speak the language.'  

 

Jane Fae is a journalist and columnist. She transitioned from male to female in her fifties. 

 

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