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Transgender British soldier Hannah Winterbourne poses in glamorous photoshoot

Updated: 05 Jun 2015
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'Gender is how you identify yourself... and bisexuality is how you find people sexually attractive. Sometimes they get lumped together but this is not about being gay or an extension of it,' Hannah said of her transformation in the Army's Soldier magazine

 

Wearing a low-cut slinky black dress and stilettos, transgender Army officer Hannah Winterbourne shows she’s not afraid of revealing her feminine side.

After serving in Afghanistan, she has become the Army’s highest-ranking transgender soldier and the only one to become an officer.

The 27-year-old was born a boy and spent her first few years in the Army as a man before deciding to undergo a sex-change operation while on a tour of duty at Camp Bastion.

And now she has swapped her Army uniform for a glamorous photoshoot for the Army’s Soldier Magazine to show she is comfortable being a woman.

She said: ‘Being in the Army I felt I had to put on a veneer of confident outgoing masculinity.

'I played a good game. I suppressed a lot of feminine characteristics and learnt to behave in a very masculine way because that’s how society had conditioned me to be.’

In the photo shoot, she wore elegant silver jewellery, including stud earrings and a necklace to complement her plunging neckline.

Her outfit would not have been complete without a touch of lip gloss and loose hair – diverting from her usual up-do.

The captain in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers - who has chosen not to reveal her original name because it’s a ‘label’ from her past – said she faced a battle with herself from an early age.

At 15, she joined a college for Armed Forces careers, before being sponsored by the Army to study electronic engineering at Newcastle University. Sandhurst soon followed.

The soldier was later posted to Germany, where she asked doctors to begin her transition process.

She was terrified what others might say, and at one point felt she couldn’t carry on living.

But after finishing a tour of Afghanistan, she decided her life must change.

The final decision to seek help came after seeing young people who had gone through the same thing.

Speaking to Soldier, she said: ‘These individuals were showing outstanding bravery.

'There was a teenager who had come out to their whole school and here I was, a 23-year-old in the Army, an organisation that prides itself on integrity and courage, and I am the one who’s sat behind a locked door telling the world who I am.

'I thought “that’s not what the Service is about”.

'That was the turning point for me.’

She added: ‘I decided to stop living a lie and be true to the person I am - not the person I thought everyone else wanted me to be.’

When she arrived at a new posting in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, she was living openly as a woman – and is now less than a year from the full gender transition after beginning hormone therapy, having some surgery and her beard removed.

She added: ‘There’s a fundamental difference between being transgender and being gay or bisexual.

 

When Hannah arrived at a new posting in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, she was living openly as a woman – and is now less than a year from the full gender transition after beginning hormone therapy, having some surgery and her beard removed

 

And she added ‘I don’t mind looking back at myself as a male because it reminds me just how far I’ve come.

'I’m just expressing myself in a different way.

'The hair, make up and clothes don’t define a person. What defines them is their personality and what they do with their lives.’

 

The captain in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers - who has chosen not to reveal her original name because it’s a 'label’ from her past – said she faced a battle with herself from an early age

 

SOURCE: Daily Mail

 

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