A British army officer has said she decided to come out as transgender after living an act as a man serving on the frontline in Afghanistan.
Captain Hannah Winterbourne, of the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, said she realised her body was wrong at the age of 23 while at Sandhurst for officer training.
And while the 27-year-old said she feared what the reaction would be when she disclosed her decision, she praised the military for being very forward thinking.
Winterbourne, the Army’s first transgender officer, said: “In Afghanistan I was acting for everyone around me. There was no let up. “In my part of the tent there were seven guys living on top of each other. Previously I’d relished my own time where I could be honest with myself.
“In Afghanistan I could not do that. That was a nudge which eventually ended with me coming out and changing myself and my way of life.”
She went through with the transformation and began hormone therapy.
“The point where I realised I was a woman but my body was wrong was around age 23 at Sandhurst. Then I went to my first unit. All of a sudden I had soldiers under my command.
“I thought, ‘This isn’t the time to do it, I’ll just bear with it’. But those feelings never go away.”
– The Telegraph