By Shannon Lane @Shannonroselane

TWO YOUNG women who once hated each other, have since fallen in love after one transitioned into a man

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Videographer / director: Marcus Hessenberg
Producer: Shannon Lane, Ruby Coote
Editor: Beth Angus

Lillie Semmens first met Mhari Sellstrom when he was female through a mutual friend.

The women, from Portsmouth, were 14 and 16 and admitted to despising each other.

"When I was female, you hated me, you detested me and thought I was ugly” Mhari said to Lillie.

“You were just arrogant, you were so rude and over-compensating for something. You were so in-your-face, you knew when Mhari was in a room,” Lillie replied.

But after Mhari began transitioning, Lillie, 22, says she saw a different side to him and they began to hang out and eventually fell in love. The couple have now been together for three months.

Mhari, 24, has known he was ‘in the wrong body' since he was young, but only came out as transgender five years ago.

He told BTV said: “I felt like I was in a wrong body. It is such a weird feeling like waking up and genuinely thinking that you are an actual boy and then looking in the mirror and then see yourself.

"I came out when I was 19, and then when I came out I didn’t even know the process, what to do and it was actually one of our friends that came out before and he explained the process to me.

"I think nowadays people are more aware of what is going on but back then I didn’t know where to start.

“In my head I have always been a boy but your body just doesn’t match.

"I wish people would just live how I live every day, just so they could see what it is like. I think people would be a lot more understanding then.”

Despite coming out in 2014, Mhari had to wait for three years to begin his hormones.

He said: “It takes you 18 months to get your first appointment and then you see your first psychologist. You then wait six to eight months for your second appointment and then you have to wait for a letter to your GP to start your hormones.”

Mhari administers his testosterone in as an inter-muscular injection into his thigh every three weeks.

“Since I have started testosterone I sweat a lot more, I am always hot and I am always hungry.”

Always on hand to help with his injections, is his girlfriend Lillie - a girl he used to hate.

When Lillie first met Mhari, she was a lesbian. She says her weight had a lot to do with her sexuality.

She explained: “When I was bigger, I never really got any male attention, so I thought I was a lesbian. I always used to date girls and like go for girls.

“As I started losing weight, I started get attention from boys and stuff.

“Mhari's actually my first boyfriend but I wouldn’t say I’m really anything, I just fall for the person. I like you because you are you not because of your gender or whatever."

After years of binding his chest, Mhari had ’top surgery’ in October 2018 - which is the removal of his breast tissue to create a flat chest.

He said: “I had a DD chest before my surgery and it's painful when to bound because they have to mould it to your body and putting it on for the first time was really, really hard.

"I had my top surgery on the 25th of October 2018. There's a video on my phone of the moment I had my bandages taken off and I cried my eyes out because it's such an overwhelming feeling even though I was all battered and bruised.

"I felt like, just looking down and seeing nothing there, it was like this is how it's always supposed to be, it was like, I felt free.”

Lillie added: “He's literally glowing, I can't even explain it. When he first took it off and showed me his whole face just lit up."

Mhari plans to begin the procedure for 'bottom surgery' later on this year.

He said: "I think I want to get bottom surgery for my own self because at the moment the top half of me is exactly how I want it to be but I am just not happy with the bottom half.

“It’s really complicated going from female to male rather from male to female, like you’ve got to put something there that wasn’t there before so it's longer and there’s lot of complications and there is lot of risks but I’m prepared to do this."

Following Mhari’s bottom surgery, the couple hope to theoretically lose their virginities to one another.

Lillie said: "So Mhari is the first boy that I’ve been with and sexually, so we had a conversation about when he has his bottom surgery we're going to kind of be losing our virginities to each other,which is really nice - and scary."

Despite once disliking one another, Mhari now praises Lillie for the support she has given him throughout his transition.

He said: “Lillie supported me in every little thing, she’s not the type of person that would sit there and say you can't do this, you can't do that, she would say, if you wanna do it, then you’ve got to do it and if you make a mistake then I’ll be here to pick up the pieces when you’re done.

"I’ve never had doubts about my transition, I don’t think I ever will”