After serving in the battlegrounds of Afghanistan, soldier Hannah Winterbourne has *revealed herself as the British Army’s first *transgender officer. She is the captain in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the only one to become an officer. The 27-year-old was born a boy and spent her first few years in the Army as a man, before deciding to *undergo a sex-change operation while on a tour of duty at Camp Bastion.
*Undergo: 遭受。通常後面會接operation或是surgery,例如”undergo a surgery” ,意思是進行或是接受一場手術。
The officer – who has chosen not to reveal her original name because it’s a ‘label’ from her past – said she faced a battle with herself from an early age.
“As early as I can remember there were feelings that were not what you expect. But as a very young person I could not *pinpoint the fact that I felt that I was a girl. Society says to you that young boys play with trucks and wear blue and I just never really fell into that category…As I got older those feelings became more *solidified, then around the age of *puberty you begin to understand a little more about gender. That’s when … I thought “this is wrong for me, I’m actually female.”
At 15, she joined a college for Armed Forces careers and was later *posted to Germany, where she asked doctors to begin her transition process. She was terrified what others might say, and at one point felt she couldn’t carry on living. But after finishing a tour of Afghanistan, she decided her life must change.
“In Afghanistan I was living an act, I was acting for everyone around me,’ she said. Sharing a tent in the desert with seven men ‘living on top of each other’ made me realize how little time I spent being myself. There was no let-up where I could stop the act. Previously, I relished my own time where I could be honest with myself. In Afghanistan I couldn’t do that so that was a nudge which eventually ended up with me coming out and changing myself and my way of life.”
Captain Winterbourne said her parents had been ‘tremendously supportive’ and added: ‘They found it difficult. I don’t think any parent wouldn’t find it difficult. They were worried for me, worried I wouldn’t be able to live a normal life. But now they have seen me come through the process they are proud.’