Awareness about LGBTQ has been growing in recent years. There is a developing social acceptance in 2016 that hasn’t always been there throughout history.
Karen Duby of Guelph, Ont. is a 51-year-old woman who has never been able to identify with her gender.
She has what physicians call Body Dysmorphic Disorder. This is a term which describes a person who feels that their outward appearance does not match how they feel on the inside.
Duby was born female but from early childhood, identified as male. She says that her mother documented in a baby diary that she rejected the female identity from a very young age. “Here, my mom wrote, ‘Karen wants to be a boy… Karen hates wearing dresses.”
Duby has already gone through the process of having her breasts removed and her chest reconstructed to resemble that of a male’s. Her next step will be hormone treatments to lower her voice and promote changes in her physical features.
She is not nervous about the changes that will be made through hormone therapy. She expressed excitement and pure joy at the thought of finally being seen for herself and not the female form she was born into.
Her partner of 16 years, Leslie, is concerned for Duby’s health when speaking of starting testosterone treatments but is completely supportive of her decision. She is letting Karen take the lead on what she is comfortable telling people about her transition and says that she will have Karen’s back no matter what.
At this point, Duby has just begun opening up about her transition to family and friends. Duby is still accepting the pronoun ‘she’, though ‘he’ is preferred, until she makes her official debut as ‘Kieran’ later this spring.
A documentary following her full transition will be available online February, 2016.