A woman who lived as a man until three years ago has told her amazing story of how major gender reassignment surgery saved her life.
Natalie Rachael Gale (46), who works in a Milngavie supermarket, was previously a man called Matt.
Married with three kids, a wife, three dogs, a good social life, which included playing cricket for the local team, and a great job running one of Europe’s biggest youth hostels at Loch Lomond, it seemed the “perfect life.”.
But underneath this macho image of a man who played hard and worked harder, lurked a deep dark secret.
Natalie told the Herald that from the age of four as a page boy at a cousin’s wedding, “Matt” knew he was meant to be a girl.
Every night from then on the youngster went to bed and prayed to wake up different.
Coping with the pain of keeping this secret led to alcoholism, depression and self-harm.
In 2005 it all finally fell apart. His marriage broke down, his wife took their children to Australia to be nearer to her parents and Matt spiralled into a deeper abyss and eventually attempted suicide several times. He was admitted into a psychiatric unit and during a week’s enforced stay finally realised it was time to change or die.
And now she has written a fictional book called ‘Being Tom’ which helped her to express her feelings and make sense of her life.
It tells the story of a man born and raised near Glasgow.
The son of an abusive, alcoholic father and loving but downtrodden mother, he seems to have survived his childhood pretty well – and is in a long term relationship with a beautiful woman called Rose. But the past finally catches up with him...
The book is available on Amazon Kindle – search for Natalie Rachael Gale.
Read Natalie’s full story in this week’s paper.