By Rebecca Lewis @RebeccaSLewis

TRANSGENDER woman Chelsea Jade Conroy was shocked when her macho boyfriend Craig Spence told her he wanted to be a WOMAN

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Videographer / Director: Ronan McLusky
Producer: Rebecca Lewis, Chloe Browne
Editor: Sonia Estal

Happy ending: Chelsea and Carla have vowed to live their lives together

Chelsea, who was born a boy called Jonathan, was overjoyed to meet a hunky man who was accepting of her past – but little did she know that Craig was hiding a secret of his own.

Football-mad Craig was a secret cross-dresser and longed to be a girl.

Now Craig is transitioning to become a leggy woman named Carla – and Chelsea is sticking by her.

The couple have gone from strength to strength over the past year
Carla, formerly known as Craig, has been transitioning since January

Chelsea, from Wicklow, Republic of Ireland, said: “I didn’t want to see my partner in girl’s clothes - it made me feel uncomfortable.

“I’m not sexually attracted to women and I’m not sexually attracted to Craig when he’s dressed as Carla.

“I feel like I had the perfect normal life after so many years of turmoil and now that has been thrown into question.”

Chelsea, now 28, was brought up in a small town and always felt different to other boys.

As a child Jonathan wore girls’ clothes, his hair in pigtails and surrounded himself with girl friends.

At school Jonathan came out as gay at 13.

Carla now wears unisex clothes to feel more comfortable
Chelsea has been Carla's rock from the beginning

But the feelings of loneliness failed to subside and his sexuality made him a target for ferocious bullies.

She added: “I was bullied every day by both boys and girls at my school, some of the girls were the worst. One day I was queuing for a class and a classmate was standing behind me jabbing the sharp end of a compass into my leg.”

She said: “I felt like I didn’t belong in any group, I felt totally alone.

“I began to feel really suicidal and unhappy in myself.

“I would take an overdose and then wake up the next day and I’d be thankful I wasn’t dead.”

It wasn’t until he was 26 that Jonathan discovered what the term ‘transgender’ meant by coming across a video on YouTube.

Carla is starting to feel confident and at home in her own skin
Chelsea spent years not knowing who she was

The woman in the video’s experience was similar to his and Jonathan realised why he had been feeling so confused and depressed for years.

With his parents’ blessing Jonathan changed his name to Chelsea Jade and began the transition process.

She hid herself away in her bedroom for six months as she took testosterone blockers and wore estrogen patches.

She also began to grow out her hair and noticed breasts forming – but the changes were gradual.

Getting glammed up: The pair get ready to have a photoshoot

Chelsea said: “One morning I got up and my eyes looked different. They sparkled. People talk about happiness coming from within and I guess that’s what it was.”

Finally Chelsea had a label for how she had been feeling and she vowed to help others going through the same crisis.

She started a YouTube channel that supports and helps transgenders from all over the world – and has helped countless people to finally be happy.

When Chelsea met Craig online in May last year, life finally became idyllic.

Sultry: Chelsea poses in a navy blue dress for the camera

The pair hit it off immediately but their blissful relationship hit a bump in the road when Chelsea discovered selfies of Craig cross-dressing on an internet dating site.

The pictures showed him in heels and a short skirt.

Craig confessed a secret he had been harbouring since he was eight – he wanted to become a woman.

Carla – formerly Craig - said: “I wasn’t comfortable with myself. I always had a desire to be a woman and wear women’s clothes but I never really had the guts to do it.

“I was just scared of what my family would think, the friends I would lose and job security.”

But since meeting Chelsea, Craig has a new-found confidence and feels ready to make the life-changing transition.

Chelsea had no idea Carla was battling the same feelings she had experienced
Chelsea, pictured here as Jonathan, dealt with bullies throughout her childhood

He started on hormones in January and isn’t ruling out surgical procedures in the future.

Chelsea is Carla’s ultimate support system, and the pair have a physical relationship even though Chelsea admits to not fancying Carla.

Chelsea said: “Of course we do have sex. I’m not sexually attracted to the female form but I am sexually attracted to the person.

“Sexual attraction is not the main thing in a relationship, love is the main thing and I do love her.

“What kind of person would I be if I didn’t help her through this?”

And to prove her love, Chelsea proposed to Carla on Valentine’s Day.

Chelsea said: “It was my way of showing her that I was serious about sticking around and supporting her.” 

And Carla has big plans for the couple once she completes her transition.

Carla said: “We’ll obviously stay together and get married. I’d love to have children, one of each!“