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Bride-To-Be Supports Her Fiancée Who Transitioned From Identifying As A Cross-Dressing Man To An Open And Proud Trans Woman

Collect/ PA Real Life

A bride-to-be has shared her deep feelings for her fiancée, who she has supported through a crippling identity crisis that has seen her blossom from a secretive cross-dressing man to an openly trans woman since they met and fell in love.


When care home team leader Jodie Beazley, 30, of Southampton, Hampshire, first met her future wife, Sammy Whitehorn, 32, in 2013, through a website, the IT operations and communications manager was living as a married man called Paul, who cross-dressed alone, behind closed doors.

Separated in 2017, blaming her gender confusion for her marriage failing, Sammy has since come full circle.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

First coming out as a trans woman, she was then diagnosed with gender dysphoria – where a mis-match between someone's biological sex and gender identity causes them distress – in May 2018, and is now planning a June 2021 wedding, where both brides will wear white gowns.

Delighted to see the change in her fiancée since she has been openly trans, bisexual Jodie said: “I love Sammy for who she is as a person. She wasn't a hard person to fall in love with at all.

“I'm so excited to marry her. She's the love of my life and I'm thrilled that she'll get to walk down the aisle in a wedding dress – something she's always dreamed of doing."

Jodie Beazley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Now that Sammy has started taking steps to physically transition, Jodie has opened up about their extraordinary friendship that blossomed into love.

Back in 2013, scared to tell people who knew her as Paul about her desire to live as a woman, Sammy turned to websites and met Jodie, who she opened up to.

But their friendship also signalled the start of Sammy's full on double life whereby, instead of just cross dressing behind closed doors, she started spending time with a new group of friends – including Jodie – who only knew her as her female persona.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Jodie said: “No one from Sammy's male life had a clue that she'd been living this whole new life as a woman as well.

“When Sammy finally came out as transgender it wasn't a shock to me. I'd half been expecting it, because it had to happen, really.

“Sammy would never have been able to live a full life as a man. She wouldn't have progressed in her career the way she has now, and she wouldn't be the friendly, happy, bubbly person she is today."

No one from Sammy's male life had a clue that she'd been living this whole new life as a woman as well
Jodie Beazley

She added: “She needed to live her life as a her true self in order to be properly happy."

Identifying as pansexual, where someone is attracted to all kinds of people, regardless of their gender, sex or presentation, while still living as Paul, Sammy created her online female persona as an escape from the existence which felt increasingly like she was living a lie.

While her wife knew she cross-dressed, she never wanted to witness it and, finding it hard to confide in her about her confused feelings, instead she sought solace in her newfound companions online.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Sensing she had nowhere else to turn, Jodie offered Sammy a safe place to go, where she could talk honestly about her feelings.

“Me and Sammy really hit it off as friends when we were chatting online," Jodie explained.

“And when she started to open up to me about what she was going through I wanted to help her."

Jodie Beazley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I've always been comfortable with my sexuality, so I couldn't imagine how hard it must be for someone to feel like they had to hide themselves," she continued.

“I said to her, 'If you ever need a place where you just want to be Sammy – you're more than welcome to come round to my house'."

Accepting Jodie's kind offer, Sammy started visiting her home and dressing as a woman.

I said to her, 'If you ever need a place where you just want to be Sammy - you're more than welcome to come round to my house'.
Jodie Beazley

“Sammy would come round a couple of times a week," Jodie said.

“She'd arrive as Paul and she'd seem a bit downbeat and sad.

“But she'd go straight up to the bathroom to get changed, put her make-up on, do her hair and then come downstairs as Sammy – and she'd be back to being happy again."

“When she came round we didn't do much, we'd usually just chill out and watch the television," she said.

“It wasn't really about what we were doing, it was just about giving her the time and space to be Sammy."

But the taste of freedom made going back to being Paul increasingly difficult.

It wasn't really about what we were doing, it was just about giving her the time and space to be Sammy
Jodie Beazley

“When it came to time for her to leave and go back to being Paul that was always a bit of a task," Jodie recalled.

“She'd always moan and be like, 'I don't want to put this shirt back on'.

“But at the same time, she felt like she had to because she didn't want the people in her male life to know that Sammy existed."

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Gaining confidence through her friendship with Jodie, Sammy started widening her LGBT circle.

“I was Sammy's first friend as a female," Jodie said. “But she'd been speaking to lots of other people from the LGBT community online.

“I wanted to help her to grow in confidence and be comfortable going out in public as female."

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

She said: “We'd arrange day trips and nights out with her new friends, so she could just start enjoying life as Sammy."

Sadly, Sammy's marriage became a casualty of her double life and in 2017 it collapsed.

But the split was the final push she needed to leave Paul behind and, within weeks, she summoned the courage to come out as a trans woman.

We'd arrange day trips and nights out with her new friends, so she could just start enjoying life as Sammy
Jodie Beazley

“When Sammy came out as a trans woman we started meeting up more," Jodie said.

“We'd drifted apart a bit before that. We were still in the same group of friends, but we hadn't been meeting up as much.

“But when she came out, I wanted to be there for Sammy, because she'd just made this huge decision to transition and live as a woman and I wanted to support her."

Jodie Beazley (Collect/ PA Real Life)

She added: “She had a lot to deal with. Her family were mourning the male her, and she was going back into her workplace as a new person."

Then, in December 2017 Jodie and Sammy decided to move in together.

“We were still just friends at that point," Jodie said. “Although, looking back, I think I'd had strong feelings for Sammy for a long time."

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I wanted to sow the seeds and put my feelings out there – but at the same time I knew Sammy had been through so much that it was difficult to find the right time to tell her," Jodie added.

In February 2018 Jodie finally broached the subject of a potential romantic relationship between them.

“When we did finally have that chat, we realised we'd already been living as a couple – we just hadn't put a label on it," she said.

I wanted to sow the seeds and put my feelings out there - but at the same time I knew Sammy had been through so much that it was difficult to find the right time to tell her
Jodie Beazley

“When we made it official not much changed – we'd already been doing everything together, we'd go shopping, go to the theatre, visit museums, as well as just everyday stuff," she continued.

“It just meant we were open about our feelings and were romantic too."

In May 2018 Sammy was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at the Tavistock Clinic in London.

Finally, taking steps to physically transition from male to female, Jodie said Sammy – who takes hormones on a daily basis – had become the happiest she had ever seen her.

“She was finally able to live as her true self – and she was just so happy," Jodie continued.

“I loved Sammy and I was so proud of her and what she'd been through. I wanted to show her, and I always think 'When you know you know'."

Sammy Whitehorn before her transition (Collect/ PA Real Life)

So, Jodie who had previously had serious relationships with both men and women, decided to propose.

“I didn't want to do anything too extravagant, so I just bought Sammy a card and wrote out how I was feeling, saying that I wanted to marry her when we were at the clinic," she said.

“We're not overly traditional, so I didn't get down on one knee, but when she was reading the card, I did get out a ring to give her – and luckily she said yes!"

I didn't want to do anything too extravagant, so I just bought Sammy a card and wrote out how I was feeling, saying that I wanted to marry her when we were at the clinic
Jodie Beazley

Now the couple plan to marry in June 2021, even though they could not be happier and are both excited for their big day, Jodie admits they have had to overcome some major hurdles to get where they are today.

“For me, there's nothing difficult about being with a trans woman," she said. “I love Sammy and that's all there is to it.

“But strangers can make it hard – especially when they stare. I have to remind myself that people stare because they're curious – it's not always in a horrible way."

She continued: “We have come across ignorant people though, that say uncalled for things.

“One time we were just walking along, and someone shouted, 'Get that man off the street'.

“I just find it frustrating. Sammy's my girlfriend and we're happy, and there's nothing wrong with that."

Jodie has also had to fend off unwanted questions and correct people who have accidentally insulted Sammy.

“Well-meaning people can be rude without even meaning to be," she said. “When I first got together with Sammy people would ask me, 'How's your boyfriend?'.

“Or some people just don't have any boundaries and will ask, 'How do you have sex?'"

Well-meaning people can be rude without even meaning to be
Jodie Beazley

She concluded: “It can be quite unnerving to be faced with such inappropriate questions and I just say, 'It's none of your business'."

Both volunteers at Chrysalis – a charity supporting transgender and questioning individuals – where Sammy is a trustee and Jodie is a group facilitator, they are both now very active within the trans community.

“I want to help facilitate a group for the partners of trans people," said Jodie. “I want to create a safe space for them to get things wrong and ask questions."

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“It's difficult being a trans person – it's not an easy ride – but what people don't realise is that the partners of trans people are suffering too," she said.

Despite facing some negativity, the couple are now determined not to let anything dampen their big day.

Sammy said: “Jodie's always been supportive of me and I feel very lucky to be marrying her. She's always loved me for me and she's the love of my life too.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I can't wait to get married. I'm so excited about walking down the aisle wearing a white wedding dress. It wasn't something I was able to do when I got married before, because I never fully realised, I wanted to transition.

“Wearing a wedding dress is something I've always dreamed of, and to now be marrying someone who I love whilst wearing one means the world to me. I never thought something like this would happen and I couldn't be happier."

To find out more visit www.chrysalis-gii.org