A lot can change in 12 months.
And This Time Next Year guest Markus, from Bathurst in New South Wales, is living proof.
He first appeared on the program, hosted by Karl Stefanovic, as Maddison – a 24-year-old woman who pledged to begin taking hormones and live life as a man by the time he was due back on the show.
At the time, Maddison said she never felt comfortable in her body.
‘I cannot look at myself in the mirror and love the person that’s there. I can’t do it. I’ve tried my entire life,’ Maddison told Stefanovic.
He first appeared on the program, hosted by Karl Stefanovic, as Maddison (pictured) – a 24-year-old woman who pledged to begin taking hormones and live life as a man by the time he was due back on the show
‘It’s not who I want to be. It’s not what I want to look like. It’s not what I look like to myself… I’ve hated being a woman since I started developing and I hate it now.’
Maddison said the name she would adopt as a man would be Markus.
One year on, it was Markus who greeted Stefanovic and the live audience on the set of the program.
Audience members and Stefanovic himself were stunned at just how far Markus had come when he made his debut on the stage for a second time around.
He traded in his feminine pink blazer for a tailored navy suit, rocking a newly grown beard and shorter hair do as well.
‘To look like this, a dude, as a man, its just the most gratifying feeling… A year ago I was absolutely miserable,’ Markus told the audience.
He said the transition had impacted every aspect of his life, but the physical changes were the most prominent.
Audience members and Stefanovic himself were stunned at just how far Markus (pictured) had come in a year when he made his debut on the stage for a second time around
Markus said he finally felt more himself than he ever had as a woman.
‘I felt wrong. I didn’t mesh with the idea of being a girl. It never really clicked with me,’ he said.
‘A lot of transgender people don’t identify with the gender they were born but dress and act that was as a mask, to be safe.’
But the transition wasn’t easy for everyone, and Markus was shocked to see his father in the audience, confessing the pair hadn’t kept in frequent contact.
They had a brief reunion when Stefanovic invited the father-of-two up on to the stage, where the father and son duo hugged it out.
He then went on to discuss how he came to accept that his daughter of 24 years planned on transitioning to male.
But the transition wasn’t easy for everyone, and Markus was shocked to see his father (pictured together) in the audience, confessing the pair hadn’t kept in frequent contact
‘It was hard. Like most fathers, my first reaction was ”are you kidding me?”,’ he said.
‘I think I’m a pretty old school parent and I was a bit embarrassed, but we as parents need to get over that.’
He said the important thing was that he supported his children and how they wanted to live their lives.
‘I now have a son and I love my son,’ he said, while confessing he was still trying to get his head around the changes.
Transgender people generally transition in three separate stages and for three separate purposes.
The first is socially. Maddison had been living as Markus for her family for six years before he finally made legal and medical changes.
But his pledge on the show meant he was ready to take the leap of faith and begin taking hormones to deepen his voice, essentially making him go through puberty all over again.
He then transitioned more socially, dressing and acting in a more masculine manner before finally transitioning legally.
This included changing his name from Maddison to Markus on his birth certificate.
‘I’ve said goodbye to Maddison. I grieved but I think it’s easier than spending the better part of my life conflicted and unhappy.’