The mum and dad who've swapped genders reveal more online support for their decision instead of hate
Louise and Charlie Draven appeared on This Morning today to discuss the support their relationship has been picking up as they complete their journeys to swapping genders.
After appearing on the show in 2017 the couple faced a lot of attacks online when they revealed they were swapping genders as parents and allowing their son Star, 7, to decide his own gender.
But after encouraging people to be kinder on the show in 2018, Charlie said they have receive much more support online these days instead of hate: “There wasn't very much hate on that point it was more a case of everyone being more open and wanting to know about us, the things we do and the way we treat our son.
"It was a pretty good response."
Louise, who was born as a man, recently completed her gender reassignment. The surgery was originally planned in March but had to be postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Louise, who is Star's biological father but fulfills the mother role, said the gender reassignment was nearly 10 years in the making: "It's been a really good time, it's been emotional, there's been ups and downs.
"Everyone thinks it will be a cure-all fix. I feel more comfortable in myself, it's a case that I can get up in the morning and deal with what I have to deal with without having to put up with a lot of emotional baggage."
Speaking about the physical impact of the surgery Louise said it has been a slow recovery: "Everyone was expecting that Julie Andrews moment and 'wahey, everything is alright, there wasn't that, it wasn't over the top but you woke up on the first morning and everything felt right, everything felt good.
"I woke up and felt like 'this is the full definition of who I am and what I like'."
Responding to Phillip's question about how their son Star reacted to his parents change of genders, Charlie said: "He's always known Louise as mum. The only difference is that mum now needs to go to the bathroom for half an hour three times a day [for medical aftercare] and he knows she's doing something she needs to do.
"We haven't opened up and told him the ins and outs because he is still only seven. He knows that the doctors helped mummy to be who she should've been and he accepts that.
Charlie is in the process of waiting to see if he is diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Firstly he has to see a psychiatric nurse, followed by a minimum of 20 months for a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and requires two medical professionals to confirm it as it stands.
He agrees with the need for a medical diagnosis: "If the medical diagnosis is not there then it opens up a whole new set of problems where anyone can self-identify and change their gender and then potentially change their gender back if it's not what they thought.
"However, being on the waiting list so long is emotionally draining. I've been on the waiting list for 26 months and because of the pandemic they're not doing first appointments so they're not sure when my first appointment will be now.