The Sun, Sunday World

SUNDAY WORLD: Irishman ‘guided by angels’ during his sex operation

He looks every inch a he-man, but just three years ago this dude was a lady. Lee Carter (45), who has had five operations over the last three years – including a 12-hour surgery to build a penis – will appear on the Jeremy Kyle show next year.Speaking exclusively to the Sunday World this week, the former contract cleaner, from Cabra, Dublin, also spoke of seeing “angels” while he was under the knife.Lee’s gender-bending transformation began in 2009, but he has felt like a boy since he was a little girl.“I have known since I was a young child that something was wrong, but could not understand it,” says Lee, who is now studying business management in the UK. “As young as five or six I was putting my father’s shoes on and his suits from his wardrobe. But I come from a different generation. I was born in the 1960s, so talking about being in the wrong body was never really spoken about.“I dressed up as a boy, played football, did all the things boys did. I was afraid, but what do you say? Throughout my life, I was in a dark place. My inner self or soul – the essence – was a male. My insides did not match my outside.”Lee says his teenage years as a girl were a nightmare. 

“I felt so uneasy going on holiday – I could not walk around bare-chested like I can now. I would bandage my chest to make it flat.“When I was a woman my life was a mess. I could not go with a man since I felt like a man inside, and I was not gay. As a woman, I found myself with women who were straight and who liked men only.” While he insists he was “never a lesbian”, he had two relationships with women long before his transformation – the first one 20 years ago. One lasted five years and one just a year, “but was mostly kept undercover”. He ended them because, “I did not want any relationship with any woman until I had gone through the process”.“It was not until I broke up with my last girlfriend in March 2008 that I plucked up the courage for counselling to seek help.”

He suffered as a woman until he was 42 and went to see a counsellor who advised him to take the plunge. Britain’s National Health Service paid Stg£60,000 for him to undergo the transformation, which he describes as “a long and painful process”.He began taking male hormones in 2009. “It was like going through puberty again,” he says. He then had his breasts removed.Next surgeons built a penis using a skin graft from his left arm. The third operation involved fitting the penis with a urination system and removing the womb. He also had extensive plastic surgery.Testicles were made out of silicone and an erection-pump was fitted.“When I urinated from the penis for the first time, it was an amazing experience. I cried after having my operation with a penis.”

In April 2012, Lee became a real man. But, while he is now fully male, he has to take the medication Sustanon (to boost his testosterone) every three weeks for the rest of his life. “I get all the signs of puberty a young boy would get growing up into a man. This includes a deep voice, loss of hair – I’m slightly bald now – and bigger muscles.“I shave regularly every week or every other day, I sweat and I’m highly active sexually.” He’s not in a relationship and is waiting to resume a relationship with an ex-girlfriend who was his lover 20 of years ago.

 “She does know about mytransition physically and we have become close again. I feel that I have fallen in love with her and am waiting to see her in America,” says Lee.Sadly, not all his loved ones supported his decision to change gender. “The reaction of family and friends was difficult at first, mostly for family,” says. Lee says he “enjoys the freedom of being a man, feeling comfortable in my own skin”. And he says his supernatural experiences during the transformation banished the nightmares while he was under the knife. “I was frightened but felt a presence that was comforting. During the operations I was awakening and having experiences with angels, strange events. “I had a calling, in which I was guided to write a book. This is my mission, I’m here to teach and help the planet, in a profound way as an earth angel, a lightworker. I never believed in angels until all this happened.”

geraldine.comiskey@sundayworld.com