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Transgender woman, 20, says she felt she had to ‘suck up’ to doctors so they’d agree to her surgery

A transgender woman has admitted she felt obliged to ‘suck up’ to doctors and present a ‘perfect character’ in order to secure her hormone blocker treatment and gender reassignment surgery.

Lily Jones, 20, from Aberystwyth, was born male but began transitioning at the age of 15 in 2015.

She changed her name from LLyr to Lily, a tribute to her grandmother, and documented her five-year journey on camera, which has now been made into a BBC Three show.

In the programme, Lily: A Transgender Story, she explains how important it was to her to be allowed to transition as a young teenager.

Lily Jones, 20, from Aberystwyth, was born male but began transitioning at the age of 15 in 2015. Pictured in 2020

Lily Jones, 20, from Aberystwyth, was born male but began transitioning at the age of 15 in 2015. Pictured in 2020

Speaking about being prescribed testosterone blockers to delay male puberty and subsequent doses of the female hormone oestrogen, she says it was a huge relief and an ’emotional moment’ when doctors gave their consent.

‘It freaks me out that people have the power to make permanent life decisions for people,’ Lily says.

‘When you’re getting your hormones, you almost have to suck up to these people, you almost have to put on a perfect character so there’s no road blocks at all.

‘This person can deny me my hormone blockers, my surgery, or anything – what do I do?’

Speaking about being prescribed testosterone blockers to delay male puberty and subsequent doses of the female hormone oestrogen, Lily says it was a huge relief and an 'emotional moment' when doctors gave their consent. Lily pictured as a young boy with her father Huw

Speaking about being prescribed testosterone blockers to delay male puberty and subsequent doses of the female hormone oestrogen, Lily says it was a huge relief and an 'emotional moment' when doctors gave their consent. Lily pictured as a young boy

Speaking about being prescribed testosterone blockers to delay male puberty and subsequent doses of the female hormone oestrogen, Lily says it was a huge relief and an ’emotional moment’ when doctors gave their consent. Lily pictured as a young boy, left with her father Huw

The teenager changed her name from LLyr (pictured) to Lily, a tribute to her grandmother, and documented her five-year journey on camera, which has now been made into a BBC Three show

The teenager changed her name from LLyr (pictured) to Lily, a tribute to her grandmother, and documented her five-year journey on camera, which has now been made into a BBC Three show

She admits people have asked her if she’s not worried she’ll change her mind one day – but insists there’s ‘no going back’. 

‘I think, unless you’re living it, you don’t really understand how it feels,’ Lily explains.

‘You’ve never been so sure about anything, and I think it’s a positive doing it so young because then I have my whole life ahead of me as a woman. 

‘I’ve always known I’ve had to do this, and there’s no going back for me and I don’t see any other life but this.’

Lily’s parents Diane and Huw have supported her throughout her journey, though her father admits to finding to difficult getting used to her new identity.

Lily looking back at her 'boy' pictures. She says: 'I think it's cool, I like to see how I've progressed'

Lily looking back at her ‘boy’ pictures. She says: ‘I think it’s cool, I like to see how I’ve progressed’

Lily admitted she felt obliged to 'suck up' to doctors and present a 'perfect character' in order to secure her hormone blocker treatment and gender reassignment surgery

Lily admitted she felt obliged to ‘suck up’ to doctors and present a ‘perfect character’ in order to secure her hormone blocker treatment and gender reassignment surgery

‘I’ve had to learn a lot; it’s been tough at times but she is Lily now, no two ways,’ Huw says in a segment filmed in 2016. 

‘When she first started I had difficulty calling her she, I was still calling her he, that was tough and hard and I was constantly being picked up on it at home and told off. 

‘Now after 18 years of calling her LLyr she’s changed her name to Lily now, and this will take me another few months to call her Lily by second nature. 

‘I am finding it tough to be honest… please bear with me.’

Lily's parents Diane and Huw (pictured) have supported her throughout her journey, though her father admits to finding to difficult getting used to her new identity

Lily’s parents Diane and Huw (pictured) have supported her throughout her journey, though her father admits to finding to difficult getting used to her new identity

Diane also struggled in the early days as she watched Lily battle body dysmorphic disorder and be tormented by school bullies

Diane also struggled in the early days as she watched Lily battle body dysmorphic disorder and be tormented by school bullies

Diane also struggled in the early days as she watched Lily battle body dysmorphic disorder and be tormented by school bullies. Pictured: Lily in 2015

In a clip filmed the following year, he says: ‘The next step in Lily’s life is surgery. It’s life-changing for her and essential for her to leave her previous life behind.’

In later clips, he admits that since Lily’s transition, their relationship has improved ‘dramatically’. 

Diane also struggled in the early days as she watched Lily battle body dysmorphic disorder and be tormented by school bullies.

‘I can see Lily doing really well, for weeks or months, and then she’ll just be getting ready to go out and suddenly the dysphoria will hit and she’ll be in tears and she can’t leave her room and it’s so hard,’ she says in a 2015 clip.

‘Everything seems to feel wrong in her body and all you can do is sit and hold her while she cries, and it’s horrible to see. 

In January this year, Lily was given a date for her 'full works' gender reassignment surgery including a vaginoplasty in March - however, the UK went into lockdown a week before, meaning it was postponed

In January this year, Lily was given a date for her ‘full works’ gender reassignment surgery including a vaginoplasty in March – however, the UK went into lockdown a week before, meaning it was postponed

‘I’m very practical, I can do “let’s phone up and see how long the waiting list is”, I can do the emotional support, but I haven’t got a way of making things better when dysphoria hits and that’s really tough because as a parent you want to make your child better.’

Having never felt like she ‘belonged’ in her Welsh town, Lily moved to Birmingham in November 2019, where she took up a job in retail – and met boyfriend Adam. 

‘I was so paranoid at home, always. I felt like a little alien that crash landed there when I was born,’ she explains.

In January this year, Lily was given a date for her ‘full works’ gender reassignment surgery including a vaginoplasty in March – however, the UK went into lockdown a week before, meaning it was postponed.

Lily explains the surgery is the final hurdle for her and it was 'hard to comprehend' when it was postponed in March

Lily explains the surgery is the final hurdle for her and it was ‘hard to comprehend’ when it was postponed in March

Lily and Adam spent the first national lockdown at her parents’ house in Wales, and moved in together in Birmingham once the restrictions were lifted.

Her surgery was rescheduled for September 1, and Lily travelled to London for the operation with her parents and Adam by her side.

Afterwards she reflects: ‘Most people grow up with goals. I never really had any of those. I do see a future for myself now.

‘I’ve never been this happy.’ 

Lily: A Transgender Story is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer from December 7 and airs on BBC One Wales on December 8 at 10:45pm.

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