A dad who struggled to bond with his son because of his transgender turmoil has finally mended their relationship – after becoming the lad’s ‘second mum’.
Until two years ago, 50-year-old Roxy Wallace was a burly bodyguard named ‘Bob’ who suffered from such severe depression he never played with his son William.
But one day cross-dressing Bob finally opened up to his wife of 20 years Jo, and said he wanted to live as a woman.
Roxy is now undergoing hormone treatment and is due to have surgery to become a full-blown woman later this year.
But her new lease of life has lifted her depression and allowed her to form a loving relationship with nine-year-old William, who is on the autistic spectrum.
William said: “I love my second mummy so much. I never want my daddy back.”
Call centre worker Jo has stuck by the person she married, in 1995, and now the pair are in a loving lesbian relationship, and still live in their marital home in Churchdown, Glos.
Roxy said: “My biggest fear was pushing my family away – but my depression was so bad that’s what I was doing anyway. I just didn’t realise at the time.
“My family have been so supportive of me, and it’s helped me grow and improve as a person.
“I now feel like the luckiest woman in the world.
“Not only has my amazing wife stood by me, but my son and I are closer than ever.
“When I was Bob, William was so closed off but now he calls me ‘mummy Roxy’ and is so much more affectionate and cuddly.
“I feel so blessed to have such a fantastic family.”
After the pair got married, Bob lost his battle with happiness and slipped into depression.
Jo said: “Watching Bob become a recluse was so painful.
“I could see he was in turmoil but even he didn’t seem to know why.
“It was such a hard time for us and we stopped going out with friends all together.”
In 2006, when Jo gave birth to William, Bob became a full time dad and carer for his autistic son.
Sadly, the pair never really bonded and as Bob was suffering with debilitating migraines at the time, he distanced himself from William.
Roxy said: “I was so depressed and in pain every day that I convinced myself that Jo was going to do a runner and I’d be left without her or William, so I put up a wall between us.
“I’d feed, water and bathe him but I never connected with him emotionally.
“Looking back now, I had never felt right in myself. Ever since I was about eight years old, I’d never been into football and just wanted to read Jackie magazine.
“Growing up I thought maybe I was gay because I was so girly, even though I wasn’t attracted to men and I was bullied constantly for being effeminate.”
But in October 2013, nearly 20 years on, the pair were watching TV one night when Bob dropped a bombshell.
Jo, now 44, said: “We were just slobbing on the sofa like any other night when Bob just blurted out that he was a woman, and wanted to start living as a woman.
“In my mind it came out of nowhere, but suddenly everything made sense.
“Bob had been a miserable recluse for years and I’d always known something was eating him up inside. I was shocked, but all I wanted was for Bob to be happy so I agreed to help him.”
“After all, I had been in love with him for 20 years and it didn’t matter to me what he looked like on the outside.”
The pair immediately began Bob’s transition, buying female hormones online and a new wardrobe.
The following July, Bob legally became Roxy when she changed her name by deed poll, and came out to their son.
Roxy is hoping to have the final operation to reassign her gender by Christmas, but is loving life as a woman.
Jo added: “We go out clubbing all the time now – Roxy is the best friend I have ever had.
“She has all the qualities that made me fall in love with Bob, only more.
“William is thrilled too – he loves having two mummies.”
Roxy added: “I wasn’t the best dad in the world but I’m making up for lost time by being a better mother.
“Bob was so masculine and afraid to show emotions but Roxy is very tactile and loving.
“Nothing makes me happier than when William jumps on me, throws his arms around me and gives me a huge kiss.”