‘Unashamedly Me’ - from mechanic to author

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TWO YEARS after the Leighton Buzzard Observer broke the story about a transsexual mechanic in Leighton who had been shunned by her customers for revealing ‘he’ was actually a ‘she’, Teraina Hird has now become a published author telling of her ordeal in order to help others overcome prejudice.

has just published a 226 page book called ‘Unashamedly Me - the story of a transsexual woman’s struggle to become herself’ which tells her story in a frank and sometimes amusing way, but be prepared for sadness along the way as she reveals all.

Teraina tells how as a child she realised she had been born in a man’s body and then goes on to described her tormented teenage years not really knowing what was wrong and questioning whether she was just gay?

She says in her book: “Physically I was a male, as for my brain that was a different matter altogether. There was little recognition in the 1960s for Gender Dysphoria.”

She buried who she really was and the book touches on her 33-years of marriage and the fifty years of denial until 2007 when the need to be her true self resurfaced. When Teraina’s wife died in 2008, in her own words “it gave her the freedom to rediscover and explore her true self”.

The book then portrays how in 2010, Teraina underwent gender reassignment surgery in Thailand to complete her journey into womanhood and the trials, tribulations and again, prejudice encountered along the way.

But 18 months down the line she told the LBO that she now feels complete as a person and comfortable in her own skin and she is so happy now.

She sold her garage business Terry Hird Engines, in Harmill Industrial Estate, Leighton, and now lives in Luton with her partner Anna.

Teraina’s book also features the LBO and its “Driven out by bigots” headline and her praise for reporter Sarah Holmes in handling the story.

It also mentioned a national newspaper’s headline of “Mechanic loses nuts and customer’s bolt” and the misery it caused to her and her son, who was at university at the time. She went to the police to sort things out.

After her son Chris’s initial shock of his ‘dad’s’ unveiling, he has helped Teraina designed the book cover.

Her openness has also resulted in TV appearances, one being on ITV’s This Morning show, and numerous radio interviews up and down the country. She has also been contacted by long lost cousins after her TV appearance.

Teraina has also delivered lectures and talks on transgender.

She said: “I have learned by my past, it has made me who I am, my only regret is I did not find myself sooner.”

Her book is dedicated to her new partner and Chris who she described as the two most important people in her life. Teraina’s book is available as an e-book or can be bought on Amazon, or directly fromm www.fast-print.net/bookshop