A man born a woman yesterday told how he struggled through a difficult childhood and finally fell in love – with his mum’s BEST FRIEND.
Transgender Bobby Fransis, 19, and fiance Donna Price, 31, have known each other since the day he was born.
He said he had a childhood crush on his mum’s pal since the age of FIVE – but the pair only got together after a chance reunion in a local pub last year.
They struck up a relationship in November with the blessing of Bobby’s mum Tracey Wood – and recently got engaged.
Tracey used to work with close friend Donna, who would babysit Bobby and even change his nappies when he was a toddler.
And the mum-of-three even took her future husband for his first short, back and sides as a child to chop off his shoulder-length locks at the age of six.
The smitten pair, both from Worcester, have now had each other’s names tattooed on their wrists and are due to tie the knot next year.
Bobby – who has been on hormone replacement therapy for the past two years – said he hoped his experience would inspire other young people going through the same thing to speak about their feelings.
He said: “I’ve always felt like this, it just comes naturally to me, I always knew what I wanted to be.
“I got a bit of stick at school, I was called a lesbian, a transvestite and a freak but with a bit of explaining it became more easy for people to understand.
“Puberty was a struggle but with mum’s support I got through it quite smoothly – she told me never to lie and just be honest.
“I had to stand up for myself or I would get bullied.
“I would be fighting almost every other day and my mum was at school every other week.
“I tried to control my anger but I came to a point where I thought, ‘I’m not taking it any more, I will have to man up or I’m going to get bullied for the rest of my life’.
“Other kids knew not to mess with me. People said, ‘You have got bottle -– you have got courage’.
“I just want people to stop the hating.
“When I saw Donna in the pub I just thought ‘this is the girl I’ve had a crush on for years’.
“My childhood crush was stood there, it was this chance meeting.”
Donna said she was terrified about breaking the news of her relationship with Bobby to her best friend.
She said: “I went with Tracey to get his first short back and sides then after that we lost contact.
“I had no idea that we’d meet again in a pub years later.
“When I saw him I was just like ‘alright?’ I didn’t think I’d end up walking out of the pub with him.
“I was supposed to be kissing someone else then Bobby just spun me round and kissed me instead.
“It was scary the first time I went round as obviously me and Tracey are really good friends and I knew Bobby when he was running around with his long hair beating his little sister up.
“But I went round for dinner and Tracey put her hands on my shoulders and told me not to worry, she said she was glad he was with me.”
His mum said she knew from a young age that Bobby – who works as a barber – was ‘different’.
She said: “Bobby has always had a lot of girlfriends in his own age group in the past and had difficulties but when he got with Donna it was a relief.
“We’ve always known and supported him. When he was little he turned round to me and said he wanted to have a boy’s haircut and boy’s clothes like his brothers.”
Bobby is due to start female-to-male chest reconstruction later this year, followed by sex reassignment surgery.
He added: “I’m looking forward to that. It’s a long way off but it’s going to be worth it.
“I just want my op done and dusted.”