I guess we should start at the beginning. I was born on 2 November 1995. The doctors in the hospital took one look at my genitals and slapped an F on my birth certificate. ‘F’ for female, not fail – though that would actually have been kind of appropriate given present circumstances. When I was 15, I realised I was a transgender man. That makes it sound like I suddenly had some kind of lightbulb moment. In reality, coming to grips with my identity has taken a long time. Over the last six years, I’ve come out to my family and friends, changed my name, battled the healthcare system, started taking male hormones and have had surgery on my chest. My quest to a beard is almost complete. This is my story.
By Alex Bertie, 2017