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Jaqui Lazelle
Jaqui Lazelle

Jaqui's Story - Part 2

Just over two years ago Jaqui came to Ipswich to start a new life as a woman.... In this part she tells us how it got to such a point that she couldn't ignore her feelings any more. Jaqui is talking to BBC Suffolk's Lesley Dolphin....

JAQUI: I suppose really, it could have been one of the reasons why I lost my job, because I wasn't concentrating on the job all that well really.  I couldn't reach targets, I was in a prestige furniture company.  I was quite happy talking to customers at the time, doing my bit.  I was a bit of an old-fashioned sales person.  I suppose I tried quite hard but I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing because I had so many other things on my mind.  That was the stage when I started talking to people about my situation, my condition.

LESLEY: Who did you go to first?

JAQUI: I actually spoke to one of the lady sales people and I am still very good friends with her.  She was brilliant.  She's the first person I've ever really met who was very open with me and felt very comfortable with me, and she was the first person as well who I was able to talk women things.  She just treated me as a friend and perhaps even as a lady friend although at the time I didn't look like one.

LESLEY: Or as YOU really.

JAQUI: Absolutely, me, yes.  She'd known me as a salesperson, I'm not going to say salesman, as I didn't feel like a salesman, even though I wore a suit in those days.

When my marriage broke up I hit a very big low, obviously, because I felt I'd lost everything because of this at the time.  The marriage seemed to be going okay, we had brilliant holidays, you know, we seemed to be okay with each other.  I wouldn't say we were a lovey-dovey couple, we never were....the strange thing is we had those two boys there, the eldest one was out to work by then, but I never really felt like their Father and I suppose really I didn't feel like a husband.

I don't know how I felt really, we were together, we seemed to enjoy each other's and downs, some of the downs were really quite bad and some of the ups were quite good.

LESLEY: I suppose you weren't conforming necessarily to the manly image of being a Dad or being a husband?

JAQUI: Probably not, I couldn't, because I had these two boys which were like strapping young lads...the eldest one was training to be a chef and the youngest one trained to be a policeman.  So they've lived very manly lives and I couldn't really go along with that...I couldn't quite cope with it really.

LESLEY: They've almost disowned you now, haven't they?

JAQUI: Virtually, yeah, yeah.  I miss them sorely, I really do, in a way as friends really.  The trouble is I haven't done anything about it, it's probably partly my own fault because they haven't contacted me, I haven't contacted them.  Really it's probably due to my embarrassment about my situation and probably they've got the same situation, they can't cope with what I am and what I'm doing.

LESLEY: Do they know?

JAQUI: Yes, they do.  Well they know that I have what they call transvestite tendencies and it's all a bit shady to them and everything.  I've tried to tell them how far things have gone and how I really feel.  I'm not a transvestite in no way or form.  It lands on deaf ears really and I get very cold replies.

LESLEY: Maybe writing the book is good therapy for you, is it also a way of telling them do you think?

JAQUI: Absolutely yes, I started with the book, I just wanted to tell the story.  I didn't intend it to be a book really, I just started writing.  There's a couple of letters in it which I wrote to start with, one to the family and one to a transgender group, which I'd found soon after the break up.  I hadn't realised that these sort of organisations were around.  They all seem to deal with the transvestite tendency, because really as cross-dressing goes there are probably more people who feel comfortable with staying a man but just like the idea of dressing up from time to time, or just feeling feminine from time to time, and that really tends to be more how a transvestite feels.

LESLEY: What about your wife?  She's not got any contact with you now?

JAQUI: No, she's re-married now.

LESLEY: For you then this really shows what a big break you've had to make and what a big decision you've had to take.  Was there one day when you made that decision?

JAQUI: No.  If there was, I can't pinpoint it.  It's just evolved, it's something I'd been feeling, it was something that I was going to have to do and this is what I've been telling myself all this time.  So I don't think there really was a point of time.

last updated: 04/11/05
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where is the letter to the family because being a member myselfe i would very much like to see it and i am sure that the rest of the family would to

Stephanie Butterfield
Jaqui's story mirrors many of us. I went on BBC NE & Cumbria to promote TS people as regular members of society. I think you are fab Jaqui, hope you are happy now. xx Stephanie Butterfield

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