Dad of two Warren was living a lie telling wife Kelly ‘I’m not having an affair – there’s no one else. The truth is I want to be a woman’
Any woman who finds a strange lipstick in the glove compartment of her husband’s van will come to one unpleasant conclusion.
But Kelly Allen’s suspicions could not be further from the truth.
Her hunky 6ft 2ins husband Warren was not cheating because the only other woman in his life was – himself.
The couple had been married for more than a decade and had two kids but Warren had been suppressing a secret desire since his teenage years.
Kelly’s fear Warren, 38, was betraying her grew when she found the lipstick after he had been hiding his phone.
When she confronted him, he couldn’t keep his secret any longer.
He confessed: “I’m not having an affair. There’s no one else. The truth is I want to be a woman.”
Stunned Kelly, 37, listened as Warren, who works in admin, said he wanted to be called Zoey and have gender reassignment surgery, which he’d been researching on his mobile.
But the full-time mum loved her husband too much to lose him.
So she agreed to become Zoey’s wife in a same sex marriage.
Now they are planning to take their vows again and will both walk up the aisle in wedding dresses.
Kelly, from Cardiff, said: “I know it sounds shocking that my husband is now becoming my wife but we’re happy.
“It would have been far worse if he’d said he was having an affair. That would have destroyed our family. But this way we’re still happily together.
“It was a total shock when Warren told me he now wanted to be a she. We’ve been together 11 years and have two beautiful children.”
Reliving the night he confessed, she said: “He’d never mentioned anything like this. I began to worry when we started organising a party for our tenth wedding anniversary last December.
“He was acting suspiciously and wouldn’t let his phone out of his sight. Then I found the lipstick in his van and knew it wasn’t mine.
“I asked him whose it was and he said it was the girlfriend of a friend he’d given a lift to. I was convinced he had another woman but it turned out he wanted to be a woman. I cried and said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’
“Then I realised I was being selfish and would make him miserable if he couldn’t be who he wanted to be. He was still the same person inside and I still love him.”
After revealing he was a woman trapped in a man’s body Zoey, who is studying to be a sound engineer, was terrified she’d lose Kelly and their children George, ten, and Molly, eight. She said: “I was risking everything, but I couldn’t keep it hidden any longer as it was making me depressed. Kelly was shocked but supportive.
“I’m lucky because our relationship is now stronger than ever.”
With his neatly trimmed beard and cropped hair, strapping Warren was Kelly’s dream man when they met in a pub in 2007. They married the following year, with Warren in a top hat and tails and Kelly an emerald green dress.
She said: “We were so excited to be husband and wife.
“Two days later I discovered I was pregnant and we were thrilled.”
Warren was a hands-on dad and loved singing in a band and skating.
Kelly didn’t think anything was wrong with their perfect marriage until they began planning a fancy dress party for their 10th wedding anniversary last year.
She recalled: “We both love the 80s, so decided to have that as our theme. I was going to go as the receptionist out of Beetlejuice while Warren wanted to go as a skater girl. I thought it’d be fun, but he began obsessing about it.
“He shaved off his beard, did a complete body wax and started using diet pills. He even used measuring tape and bought a corset to cinch in his waist.
“Afterwards I noticed he kept wearing the corset, which I thought was odd. I kept asking what was wrong but he said he was fine. He wouldn’t let me see his phone. I was sure he had someone else.”
Eventually Kelly confronted her husband and he revealed the truth.
She said: “He told me he wanted to be a woman then he burst into tears.
“The rest of the night was a blur as I was so shocked. Slowly, as we talked, I realised I had to let Warren be Zoey. It wasn’t fair for me to stop that. I realised I loved the person not the gender.”
Zoey is now having hormone replacement therapy and waiting to be referred to a gender identity clinic.
She said: “I can’t wait to look on the outside how I feel on the inside. I want to have surgery to become a woman.
“I realised I was different when I hit puberty and would cry about my body. I didn’t want it to change.
“It took a lot longer to realise I was a woman trapped in a man’s body.
“I didn’t know anything about being trans and thought it was wrong so I didn’t want to address it.
“Then I met Kelly and fell in love and tried to hide that side of myself and those thoughts. I had bouts of depression but tried to push all those feelings aside. I couldn’t confide in anyone but once I’d dressed up for our party something changed in me. I thought this was the chance to tell Kelly the truth and to be the real me.
“I’m so lucky she still loves me – and the kids have been totally accepting.”
The couple told their children that daddy is now “Mummy Zoey” and would be dressing “just like mummy”.
Kelly said: “They accepted it straight away. Molly smiled and said “if that’s what makes her happy.”
One day Kelly saw George was upset and he told her he missed his dad.
She said: “But Zoey said, ‘He’s still there inside Mummy Zoey.’ I realised it was the truth. Warren hasn’t gone. He is just a she now called Zoey.”
Now Kelly and Zoey go shopping for clothes together and share make-up tips.
Zoey said: “I do feel vulnerable sometimes. It can be hard with people staring and pointing. I’m very tall and have red hair, so it’s hard to miss me. I avoid looking anyone in the eye and ignore men who go by jeering and shouting.
“Luckily the negative comments are less when we go out as a family, and my children are very protective.
“Once when people were laughing about me, Molly said: ‘Why are you being so mean? What has she done to you?’ They love me however I am.”
The couple are planning their wedding for as soon as Zoey has reassignment surgery, which could take three to four years. Zoey said: “We want to have a blessing and a big party for all our friends and family. I will wear a big gown and a small veil while Kelly still loves green. We’ll both be blushing brides.”
And Zoey insists their love life is better than ever. She said: “We’re so much closer and so we’re just as intimate but it’s more intense, as I don’t have to keep any secrets any more.
“Once I have the surgery we’ll have to find new ways to explore each other.”
Kelly is looking forward to their future together as woman and wife.