Leo: 'Don't you have enough going on?'

Leo Collins on being trans and having cerebral palsy.

I began my transition over three years ago and that was when I realised my true sexuality. I think it was because I finally felt happy in my body so I felt comfortable being a man with a man! 

I thought being trans and having Cerebral Palsy, it was going to be a tall order to get a date let alone anything else? I met my partner two years into my physical transition so I was a lot more confident with how I looked. My disability and the fact that I am trans has never been an issue in our relationship and at the moment I am content with just chest surgery. 

When I was a kid I kind of felt genderless, I enjoyed my dad treating me like a boy and I always wore boys clothes. My parents didn't really mind my chose of clothes until I was in my late teens when I suppose I should have 'grown out of it'.

It was only when I began uni that I discovered that I preferred wearing male boxers and no crop top that I was made to wear throughout school. It was actually when I was watching the Channel 4 TV programme My Transexual Summer that the penny finally dropped! I remember thinking 'that's actually how I feel'. 

Most don't have a problem

People who do not know me and do not have much knowledge about how to communicate with somebody with a disability, cannot even understand that I may be gay let alone transgender!

I have noticed that some of society tend to believe having a disability is enough of a complication and don't understand that I needed to change my gender. Somebody once said to me, 'don't you have enough going on?' My answer to this is that obviously I did not choose to be born in the wrong body, any more than I chose to be disabled. 

Before I met my partner, I went through a period of using dating and hook up apps. At the beginning I believed it would be difficult to get anywhere having a double whammy, a disability and being trans. In actual fact I found that if I was open and up front with people, the majority did not have a problem with anything! 

This article reflects the experience of the individual. It is not health information from the MHF under the terms of the NHS England Information Standard.