Helen and Felix Fenlon may have four marriages and 10 children between the, but they’re pretty sure they got it right this time. The happy couple tied the knot last Friday in an historic ceremony making them what the Sunday Mirror calls “Britain’s first double sex swap wedding.”
Helen was born Leslie, the son of a strict military man, who tried unsuccessfully to conform to society’s expectations of her. Three failed marriages and eight kids later, she realized she couldn’t live a lie anymore and sought counseling.
“As I got older I tried to suppress it, although I cross-dressed in secret. Eventually, the stress got too much,” Helen told the Mirror. “I had no choice but to seek help and have gender reassignment.”
Felix was born Katy, but from the age of eight he knew he wanted to be a man. He eventually got married and had two kids, but after 13 years he suddenly walked out on his family.
“Even though I knew I was breaking their hearts I couldn’t live a lie any more,” Felix said. “When I left my husband I even strapped down my 38F breasts to feel better about myself.”
In 2008, a psychologist finally put Felix in touch with the organizer of a transgender support group — Helen. And it was love at first sight. They’ve been dating ever since, but they had to officially change their genders on their birth certificates before getting married. Helen and Felix both had their gender reassignment surgeries on the same day, September 13 –Helen in 2003 and Felix in 2010 — so they chose it as their wedding day.
The ceremony was a small, intimate affair with only 13 people — the people who had supported them the most during their transitions. Included in that group was Felix’s son Kieran and Helen’s son Darren, who walked his mother down the aisle. Though they have had a difficult road to happiness (Felix is estranged from his other son due to his sex change), they’ve found the happiness that eluded them for so long in each other.
“This is the first day of the life I always wanted to lead – as the right sex with the right person by my side,” said Felix. His blushing bride added, “Finding Felix and becoming his wife is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”