Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

When Albert met Anne

Ann and Richard have been a couple for 40 years. They met when Ann was Albert. Now that Ann is a woman they are able to be married.

A story about gender and about the stupidity and cruelty of our laws.

When Albert met Richard, he offered to buy him a gin and tonic.

Homosexuality had been legal for almost a decade in Britain, and young men flocked to gay bars with a giddy ardour they were still reticent to display on the street.  

"You had to be careful. We had friends who were roughly treated. It still wasn't something you shouted about, because you could get derision, or worse," Ann Urch says.

Almost 40 years on, the light gleams on Ann's golden bracelets and ruby-coloured nails as she tells their remarkable story.

Their first lease on a flat (she still has the papers), migration to Australia and forays into local politics in Frankston. They settled in the bayside suburb of Mt Martha, in Melbourne.

Richard Urch, a nurse at Frankston Hospital, sits on the sofa opposite. He fills in the gaps in her tale, sometimes takes the lead.

For the first 34 years their relationship, Ann was Albert.

A tall, balding man with a deep Mancunian accent, Albert Knowles was a Frankston councillor and mayor in the mid-1980s, skilled in manufacturing and management, one half of a gay couple.

But Albert was also someone who - for as long as he could remember - had a deep conviction his gender did not match his body and he was a woman, a condition known as gender dysphoria.

As Albert grew older this gnawed at him and he became depressed. But he did not feel ready to tell Richard.

Read the rest here.

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