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Trans newsreader India Willoughby combats social stigma by opening up about her transition

Meka Beresford December 4, 2016
Rachel, India and Ann

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

India Willoughby has released an op-ed addressing all the questions transgender people get asked, and it’s amazing.

Willoughby, an ITV Border region news presenter quite her role in 2010 to come out as transgender and six years on she returned to ITV to work as a journalist for the Tyne tees region.

In October, she appeared on Loose Women shortly after returning and spoke about her experience with transitioning.

Now, she has gone the extra step to further cast light on her trans identity by answer six common questions for readers.

The questions range from her least favourite “why did you decide that you wanted to be a woman” to questions she says people are too afraid to ask like “have you had a sex-change operation?”

Writing for The Mail, Willoughby addresses questions and helps break stigma against the trans community while she does it.

“I know changing gender sounds funny. Ridiculous. The stuff of a Hollywood comedy. But we are not actually changing our gender. Nor are we having a sex-change or sex-swap.

“These terms are outdated and, really, not particularly nice. We are changing our bodies to match the gender we have always been. It’s an important distinction. I don’t consider myself as ever having been male.”

She explains how her gender dysphoria grew to be overwhelming the older she got and the struggle she had with confronting her family with that fact.

The process of transitioning was daunting for Willoughby, and she had a lot of misconceptions about the procedures when going into it.

“I was so unwilling to come out as trans that at first I bought hormone medication online, rather than see a doctor.

“It’s not something you can do on a whim. If it’s not for you, they will weed you out.

“In fact, when I did seek help in 2009, it took about a year of clinic visits and assessments before my first prescription was approved,” she explained.

Willoughby addressed the mix up between sexuality and gender, as well as regrets in the closing statements of the piece.

“Sexuality and gender are two completely different things. I’m tempted to write it again because the two are repeatedly confused. Being trans doesn’t automatically mean you are gay.

“This is a medical condition that leaves many people stuck in gender limbo contemplating suicide. Four thousand pounds or so to save a life? To keep a son or daughter? A parent? Bargain.”

More: gender identity, India Willoughby, loose women, questions, Trans, Transgender

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