A former sports editor who spent decades living a double life is celebrating her ruby wedding anniversary – six years after undergoing a sex change.
Gerry Greenberg, 64, married his wife Lynn in 1969 but for half a century wished he had been born a woman.
Six years ago he decided to spend £25,000 on five separate surgical procedures to become Donna Gee.
Donna and Lynn still share a marriage and now swap fashion tips and discuss lipstick.
Gerry was a rugby-loving sports journalist who rose up the ranks to become sports editor of Cardiff-based morning title the Western Mail and even wrote rugby star Wade Dooley’s autobiography.
However, his double life meant he sneaked behind Lynn’s back to try on her clothes, terrified that he might be discovered.
Donna told Wales on Sunday: “I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a woman.
“I didn’t feel like a man trapped in a woman’s body because I was born male and had lots of male interests.
“But I dreamed about shopping trips with the girls and could never get those feelings out of my head.
“But I buried them for a while and got on with things, especially at grammar school in Caerphilly. I never discussed it with anyone and became sports-mad.”
Donna admits that she was, outwardly, every inch the heterosexual man who managed to keep her secret to herself, even though she couldn’t rid herself of the desire to dress and behave like a woman.
With the birth of the internet Gerry managed to find like-minded souls in Manchester, where he lived at the time, so joined a local support group.
Eventually, Lynn grew suspicious and Gerry confessed everything only to discover his wife was supportive and not ashamed, as were the couple’s two daughters when they were later told. In 2003, he eventually underwent surgery.
Now a website editor, Donna is hoping to publisher her autobiography ‘Why Is My Dad Not Answering Her Phone?’
She added: “I think I’ve got an interesting tale to tell, not just about my gender change but about my career too. It would be interesting to find out if any of my old contemporaries know about me.”
Vivienne DuBourdieu, MCIJ (17/02/2009 10:26:38)
James Morris, the journalist who accompanied the Everest expedition in 1953, and the author Pax Britannica, went through much the same kind of experience as Donna – changing to become Jan in the mid 70s. She wrote about this in Conundrum, and continued on to write some of the most beguiling and perspicacious travel commentaries available. In January 2008, The Times named her the 15th greatest British writer since the War. She remarried her former wife in May 2008 living together with her in a civil partnership for some years. So a sex change can be done with grace and accepted widely. Good luck, Donna!
BigLiz Buchanan (21/02/2009 15:05:24)
Done with grace? They’re both journalists. Jill Public meanwhile gets ripped apart by the tabloids.