Teraina Hird spent a lifetime living as a man. It wasn’t until she was 67-years-old that she finally became the woman she wanted to be.
It was a change that cost her livelihood and very nearly her life. Now she is campaigning for trans rights and working with Bedfordshire Police to tackle hate crime.
The biggest obstacle to her transition was her own denial. She first realised she was a woman when she was 17 and the idea terrified her. She got married, had a son and set up a successful business as a car mechanic in Leighton Buzzard.
But when her wife died in 2008 her repressed feelings started to surface and two years later she paid to have gender reassignment surgery in Thailand. She had been told she’d have to wait 18 months just for her first NHS appointment.
When Teraina began dressing in female clothes at work many of her customers stopped using her garage.
A national newspaper ran a story with the headline "Mechanic loses nuts and customers bolt," and Teraina reluctantly sold the business at a fraction of what it was worth.
She reported the article to the police as a hate crime. She says several of her trans friends have been physically abused.
Click below to watch the full report from ITV Anglia's Clare McGlasson.