Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Coping with Life in the Wrong Body; More Support Services Needed to Help Youth

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Coping with Life in the Wrong Body; More Support Services Needed to Help Youth

Article excerpt

Byline: LIFE Christine Rossouw

MANDY Leigh Jones is today living the life she has always wanted to, that of a happy, proud woman, comfortable in her own skin. But it has not come without profound personal loss and years of wrestling with the ghoul of gender dysphoria.

Ms Jones, who is also a Tattoo Pin-up model known as Miss Minnie More Retro, was born a boy in September 1963.

"I wouldn't wish Gender Dysphoria on my worst enemy," she said.

She said it was around the age of eight that she became acutely aware that her thoughts and traits were different to the other little boys that she was growing up with in an outer Brisbane Region.

"I was a little girl inside my head, trying to lead this outward life as a little boy," she said.

"I figured that I was just a bit of a girly sort of boy and kept these thoughts to myself."

An incident when she was 10, would force the already tormented young girl into a deep introspection which would isolate and plague Ms Jones until she would finally come to accept her Gender Dysphoria and take the steps to overcome it.

"My parents and I were watching The Don Lane Show on TV with special guests Molly Meldrum and the famous Australian Les Girls performer Carlotta," she said.

"The little girl in me was filled with amazement and admiration at the sight of Carlotta, but my father commented that someone like that should be put out of their misery."

This condemnation would scar Ms Jones deeply and become the ghoul which would keep her imprisoned in her fortress of Gender Dysphoria for decades.

"You cannot switch Gender Dysphoria off, believe me I have tried. It will kill you if you try to fight it."

Ms Jones said she has attended the funerals of six girls like herself, whose struggle with Gender Dysphoria and the prickly reception society bestows on such individuals, led them to taking their own lives.

It was only after the sudden death of her mother in 1992 that Miss Jones would begin her retaliation against the ghoul. "The shock of losing my mother took a sharp turn of confusion and loneliness, as I struggled with not knowing why my life was this way," she said. …

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