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Trans Woman Who Was Married As A Man Now Set To Walk Down The Aisle In Her Fairytale Wedding Dress

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/PA Real Life)

A transgender bride-to-be, who has already been married as a man, has spoken of her joy as she plans to walk down the aisle for a second time in a fairy tale white wedding dress.


Living as a cross-dressing man when she married for the first time, Sammy Whitehorn, 32, spent years being confused about her identity and, despite being honest about her “hobby" of wearing women's clothes with her first wife, she only ventured out in dresses when she was not around to see.

But in 2017, her marriage having broken down she says largely because of her gender issues, the IT operations and communications manager of Southampton, Hampshire, England, finally came out to her family as a trans woman – going on to find “true love" with her now fiancée, care home team leader Jodie Beazley, 30.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Sammy, who identifies as pansexual, where someone is attracted to all kinds of people, regardless of their gender, sex or presentation, said: “Jodie loves me for who I am, she just accepts me.

“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 realized I wanted to transition. I only thought of myself as a cross-dresser, so I dressed as a traditional groom in a suit."

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

She added: “I've always dreamed of being able to wear a wedding dress. Now I feel like I'm finally getting my happily ever after."

First wearing women's clothes in secret when she was 15, when she was living as a boy called Paul, for most of her life Sammy saw it as her “cross-dressing hobby."

She recalled: “I used to secretly borrow my sister's school uniform and wear it while I did my homework."

“I managed to convince my parents to put a lock on my door – pretending my sister was distracting me – so I knew I wouldn't be disturbed," Sammy continued.

“I started shopping online, too, and buying anything girly that caught my eye, which I would hide under my bed.

“When my door was locked, and my curtains were closed I'd try all my new clothes on, and I'd just chill out or play PlayStation while wearing them."

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I felt more relaxed and less anxious when I was wearing women's clothes."

Despite her efforts to cross-dress in secret, on one occasion Sammy almost got caught.

“My sister had a leotard she wore to dance lessons and I couldn't resist stealing it," she said.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

She explained: “I took it and hid it under my pillow and when she realized it had gone, she went searching for it and found it.

“I managed to pass it off as being an annoying older brother trying to hide her stuff."

Spending most of her late teens feeling confused about her identity, Sammy started confiding in strangers online.

“I was too scared to tell anyone I actually knew about my cross-dressing," she said. “Instead I spoke to people I met online about it."

But when Sammy met her first wife – who she does not wish to name – when she was 18, she told her the truth.

“She was so understanding about my cross-dressing," she said. “I continued to wear women's clothes and she was fine about it, as long as she didn't witness it."

So the couple – who moved in together in 2013 – agreed that Sammy could dress as she pleased when she was home alone, but that she had to make sure her partner never saw her.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Despite their understanding, in her 20s Sammy became increasingly unhappy with her male identity and created a female persona online, to try and compensate.

“I started chatting to people online as a female version of myself that I called Sammy," she explained.

“I found people to speak to who were accepting and open-minded towards trans and gay people, and cross-dressers. "

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Finding solace with her online friends, Sammy eventually decided in the summer of 2013 that it was time to meet her cyber pals in real life.

“When I went out as Sammy for the first time, I did the full works – make-up, wig, accessories, chicken fillets – the whole lot," she said.

“I was terrified that someone would recognize me – but it felt amazing to be out as Sammy."

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Sammy added: “I'd usually meet up with my new friends and go to gay clubs or round people's houses, so it made me less worried that I'd be spotted by my family or other friends."

Keeping this side of her routine a secret from everyone but her girlfriend, Sammy – who now volunteers as a trustee at Chrysalis, a charity supporting transgender and questioning people – began leading a double life.

With the exception of her girlfriend, all her regular friends and loved ones only knew her as a man, while her new pals only saw her female persona and knew her as Sammy.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“My girlfriend and I would use the code, 'I'm off to see my friends,' so she knew I was going out as Sammy," she said.

“No one else knew about Sammy and it honestly felt like I was starting to live a double life."

Despite all the subterfuge, she and her girlfriend had a strong bond and, in 2013, they decided to marry.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“We married in a traditional wedding ceremony," said Sammy. “My wife got to wear a white wedding dress, which made me feel jealous, but I wasn't resentful.

“At that point I still thought Sammy was a hobby and didn't realize I wanted to transition. But being a bridegroom in a suit still felt bizarre.

“It honestly was one of the happiest days of my life, but part of me just wished I'd been the bride."

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“Right before the wedding day my girlfriend had the dress hanging up in a room and I caught a tiny glimpse of the back of the dress," Sammy continued.

“I had the biggest urge to try it on – but I managed to resist, thankfully.

Sadly, in 2017, after four years of marriage, the couple decided to divorce – with Sammy citing her ever-increasing desire to become a woman as the cause for the separation.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I loved my wife and I loved being married, but I also loved being Sammy," she said.

“Being Sammy was becoming a bigger and bigger part of my life. I'd found this entire new group of friends who only knew me as Sammy. I was going on weekends away, to gatherings and just going down the pub to meet my friends as her. "

And later that year she finally summoned the courage to tell her family – who were still in the dark about her double life – that she wanted to live full-time as a woman.

Sammy and Jodie (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“I was terrified of coming out, because you always hear these horror stories about it going wrong," she said.

“But, honestly, I couldn't have asked for a more supportive reaction from my family and friends.

“My family mourned the male me, because from that moment on he was gone, but after that they were so accepting."

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

Sammy added: “It just felt this huge sense of euphoria at finally being able to be the real me."

Finally, in the April, Sammy started her new life as a woman.

“My work colleagues at GCI, an IT and communications service provider, were so supportive," she recalled.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“On my first day as Sammy they had a new email address and business cards printed out for me – they've been brilliant," she said.

Sammy also took steps to start physically transitioning and, after numerous doctors appointments, she was referred to The Tavistock Clinic in London.

She was diagnosed with gender dysphoria – a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity – in May 2018.

Sammy and her fiancée Jodie (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“In July that year I started taking hormones every day," she said. “Now my skin feels softer, my hair's grown and I've got a bit more of a belly and a bum."

Sammy also hopes to have gender reassignment surgery, although she believes she will have to wait for a while.

“Because the surgery is irreversible, they have to be completely sure you want it done," she said.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“You have to live as a woman for two years and they have to assess you to make sure it's definitely something you want."

For now, Sammy is looking forward to her big white wedding – after finding love again with Jodie, who identifies as bisexual, in December 2017.

“I'm so excited to get married – we've booked a venue for June 2021," she said.

Sammy Whitehorn (Collect/ PA Real Life)

“My sister is a beautician, so she's going to do my make-up and eyebrows for the big day," she continued.

“I'm excited to finally be able to walk down the aisle in a white wedding dress – I've got an idea for what dress I want – it's white but it'll have a rainbow twist to represent Pride.

“Wearing a wedding dress is something I've always dreamed of, and to now be marrying someone who I love while 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 about Chrysalis visit www.chrysalis-gii.org

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