Stephanie Jones, 28, from the Wirral, transitioned five years ago

…but says she knew her real gender from the age of just four 

When a friend read her diary at 17, her outing led her to leave home   

After living rough, she finally sought help while staying in a hostel

Says she now loves vintage fashion and works as a caving instructor  


A transgender woman says that she knew she was in the wrong body from the age of four…but suffered for more than 20 years before she felt strong enough to do anything about it.

Stephanie Jones, from Moreton, Wirral, says she used to sneak into her sister’s bedroom to try on her make-up and dresses as a child and that her skin felt like a ‘crisp wrapper’ around her body.

The 28-year-old says even in early childhood, she’d go to bed at night and wish that she’d wake up a girl in the morning.

Now working as a caving instructor, Stephanie finally plucked up the courage to come out as transgender after becoming depressed and living on the streets for several years.

After being taken to the YMCA hostel in Birkenhead, she began sharing her feelings and started her transition and turning her life around.

Stephanie, who now also aspires to be a model, said: ‘When I was four-years-old I remember it was like coming into conscious being and I felt like something wasn’t quite right.

‘My skin never felt like it was my own but more like a loose crisp packet over my body and I felt a strong separation from parts of my body I knew were not mine.

‘As I became more aware of everything around me I realised the things that I liked and wanted to do were everything my sisters were doing but I wasn’t allowed to play with girl’s things.

‘I used to go to bed and wish that the next day I would wake up and be the same as my sisters.

‘It never happened and as I began to grow up I started to become more conscious that something really wasn’t right.’

When her sisters would be out babysitting or playing with their friends she would sneak into their rooms and try on make-up and wear dresses.

Stephanie, who was born as Stephen Jones, dreamed of finding a prince and used to dance around her sister’s bedrooms pretending someone was dancing with her.

‘I began my transition in the YMCA in Birkenhead in 2011 and even though at this time in transition I knew I didn’t look so feminine but I felt happy deep within myself for the first time in my life. 

Stephanie Jones 

She would hate going shopping with her mum for new school clothes because she’d hate wearing trousers and having to keep her hair short.

Despite having to wear wigs when first starting her transition in 2011, Stephanie now has naturally long hair after having it cut frequently and letting it grow out.

Stephanie said: ‘When I was little I would get dressed up, and when no one could see me here and I used to stand in the mirror and imagine that I was female.

‘I would dance in the mirror spinning and pretending I was dancing with a prince and that I had lovely long hair, it was the first time in my life that I’d felt special.

‘These moments in my sister’s bedroom were special to me because for that short time I didn’t have to pretend to be someone that I wasn’t and I was safe from being seen or judged.’

At the age of 10 Stephanie pushed her feelings to the back of her mind and began to make friends and try and fit in at school.

She kept a diary of how she felt and where she wished she could go shopping and how she wished she could be herself without being judgedPICTU

But at the age of 17 a ‘friend’ of hers stole the diary and showed everyone on her street, which lead to her moving away and becoming homeless. Stephanie said: ‘When I moved away I fell into a depression because it felt like the more time had passed the further I was falling away from myself by having to put up a macho bravado to survive on the streets.

‘When I finally cracked I knew if I was going to transition I was going to have to make sacrifices such as losing my family.

‘I began my transition in the YMCA in Birkenhead in 2011 and even though at this time in transition I knew I didn’t look so feminine but I felt happy deep within myself for the first time in my life.

‘For the first time I didn’t have to hide away, tell lies or pretend to be someone I wasn’t.’

Stephanie, who works as a caving instructor, now loves nothing more than to go shopping for new dresses and loves to wear make-up.

She loves vintage and Fairtrade dresses and anything with a lot of colour and likes to keep her make-up minimal.

Even though she doesn’t speak to one of her sisters, she says she has never been closer to her oldest sister, Jenny Keir, 34.

Jenny said: ‘When Stephanie was younger we were never really close, I’m six years older than her so was always out with my mates when we were growing up.

‘She was always a very quiet child and was very reserved so it never crossed my mind that she wasn’t happy or that anything was wrong.

‘When she was a teenager she was a real lad’s lad, she’d go out with her mates and was always having a laugh with them.

‘She had a skinhead and wore trackies so it was a massive surprise when she told me she was in the wrong body.

‘When I found out she used to steal my make up and wear my clothes it really surprised me, I never noticed anything moved around in my room or anything missing.

‘I’m extremely proud of Stephanie now though, she’s so much more confident than she ever was and she’s content with herself, it’s so nice to see.stephanie 3stephanie 1stephanie 5stephanie 4