|The Story of Stephanie Anne Lloyd|
Page 4 of 15
The gender reassignment process began through a specialist psychologist at Manchester's Wythenshawe Hospital and then with Dr Russell Reid at Charing Cross Hospital in London.
With hormone treatment and electrolysis, Keith's appearance soon began to change. He had to live a double life, showing his psychologist that he could pass as a woman in London yet still hold down his job as a man in the North, where he and Marilyn were then living. It meant keeping his jacket on and wearing larger shirts to hide his growing breasts.
The change in his appearance, and the general feminising effect on his nature of the hormones was more than Marilyn could face. She opted out, taking the children to live with their mother down South. Keith's long line of sacrifices to become Stephanie had begun.
Over a long number of months, Keith slowly became Stephanie. He had lessons in make-up and deportment, and learnt to dress as a woman, act as a woman and speak as a woman. When the time came for the final operation, Stephanie would be as ready as she could be to face the world.
She knew by then some of the problems she was to face. Her father had told her he would disown her if she went ahead with the operation, Marilyn was gone, and the children had become distant. However, at least she had her job being kept open for her. Keith Hull was officially leaving the post of marketing director to be replaced by Miss Stephanie Anne Lloyd.
The sex change itself took place on September 12th 1983, the day that Stephanie was really 'born' - at the age of 37 - as a fully grown woman. As she came round from her operation, with the surgeon standing beside her bed, it was a moment of intense and unrivalled emotion for her.
"I was exultant, there's no other word for it. I'd come through and now I was truly a woman. There was nothing left to fear.
"I had tears of pure joy streaming down my face. I could only look at the eyes of the surgeon - my 'creator' - and pray that he understood my gratitude. He'd given me back my life."
Stephanie was full of hope after the operation, and despite the pain felt happier than she had ever been. However, it wasn't long before she received her next body blow. The press had been intrigued by titbits they'd heard about the senior executive who was swapping pin stripes for stilettos. Within days of returning to work, she found herself splashed across banner headlines in the Daily Mirror.
Her firm got the jitters about the effect of the publicity on their institutional shareholders, and suggested she should resign. Suddenly she was unemployed.
Then came the divorce hearing, when Marilyn turned against the woman she had played a part in creating. She went for the jugular and Stephanie, not wanting to fight her wife and children, ended up with nothing - not even a bed to sleep on.