A transgender woman says she spent decades secretly wanting to be her wife — and only came out after her spouse’s untimely death.
Cherylin Hall, 57, was born male in 1960s England and knew from an early age that she was trapped in the wrong body.
The confused youngster — who was then known as Tony — stayed in the closet and continued living as a male, marrying a woman named Therese in the late 1980s.
The pair were wed for 30 years before Therese’s death in 2019 prompted Hall to finally come to terms with her true identity.
“Therese was only 54 when she died, and I thought life was far too short,” Hall declared in an interview with PA Real Life. “I just had to take the wheel, which was my eureka moment.”
Photos show Hall — who now awaits gender confirmation surgery — bears more than a passing resemblance to her late wife, sporting strikingly similar blond bobbed hair.
Growing up as a young boy, Hall says she fawned over her mom’s clothing and cosmetics, stating, “I used to watch my mother put her make-up on, thinking ‘When can I do that?’ …. There was a lovely bright pink, flowery tutu [that she owned], and I used to wear that every Friday.”
Hall began cross-dressing in private but still presented publicly as a man. At the age of 23, Hall met Therese at a local pub and was instantly enamored.
“I would never have chatted her up, I was far too shy,” the Brit recalled. “So she spoke to me, and we got together. The rest is history.”
“She was five-foot-four, blonde and always wore heels and a dress,” Hall continued. “It’s exactly what I wanted, and what I wanted to be. I think that’s some of the reason why I fell in love with her — I wanted to be her.”
The pair went on to marry and have children, with Therese eventually becoming aware of her husband’s cross-dressing secret.
“She sort of put up with it for the first year or two,” Hall stated. “But by the end, she knew there was a lot more to it. It caused an awful lot of problems in our married life and was the crux of most of our arguments.”
“Through time, she helped me buy clothes. I’ll be honest. My cross-dressing was a poor substitute for having to live the lie that I was living,” she added.
Therese was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 and passed away in January 2019.
Although Hall was devastated, she believed it was a sign to start living her truth as a trans woman and finally went to a doctor in September 2019.
Hall now identifies as a woman and takes hormones, but she says she is waiting for bottom surgery before she begins dating again.
“I’m in limbo because I was married to a beautiful woman for 30 years, [but] I’m not in a position to be able to decide whether my next partner is going to be male or female because I don’t know how I’m going to feel until I feel like a woman,” she candidly confessed.
Hall’s children have accepted her new identity, but the blond says she is “still met with a lot of resistance” in wider society.
“Whenever I’m out, you’ll see couples poke each other in the back and sort of laugh and giggle, and I can imagine what they’re saying,” she sadly stated. “But I just have to be me, and I have to put on this brave face and pretend everything’s alright.”
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