When Kelly Allen found a strange lipstick in the glove compartment of her husband’s car, she came to the most likely conclusion of wondering whether he was having an affair.
However, Kelly’s suspicions couldn’t have been further from the truth when her husband Warran Allen revealed he’d not been cheating, instead telling her he identified as a woman.
The couple had been married for more than 10 years and shared two children, however Warren had been hiding his true identity since his teenage years.
After Kelly noticed her 6ft 2ins husband had been hiding his phone, she confronted him and he couldn’t keep the secret any longer.
She recalled him telling her:
I’m not having an affair. There’s no one else. The truth is I want to be a woman.
Taken by surprise, Kelly listened to Warren explaining he wanted to be called Zoey and have gender reassignment surgery, which he had been researching on his phone – hence the secrecy.
The 37-year-old was in shock, but relieved Warren wasn’t having an affair, and told him she loved him too much to lose him, so agreed to be Zoey’s wife in a same sex marriage.
Now they are planning to take their vows again and will both walk up the aisle in wedding dresses.
Kelly, from Cardiff, said:
I know it sounds shocking that my husband is now becoming my wife but we’re happy.
It would have been far worse if he’d said he was having an affair. That would have destroyed our family. But this way we’re still happily together.
It was a total shock when Warren told me he now wanted to be a she. We’ve been together 11 years and have two beautiful children.
Recalling the night Zoey revealed her wish to transition, she said:
He’d never mentioned anything like this. I began to worry when we started organising a party for our tenth wedding anniversary last December.
He was acting suspiciously and wouldn’t let his phone out of his sight. Then I found the lipstick in his van and knew it wasn’t mine.
I asked him whose it was and he said it was the girlfriend of a friend he’d given a lift to. I was convinced he had another woman but it turned out he wanted to be a woman. I cried and said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’
Then I realised I was being selfish and would make him miserable if he couldn’t be who he wanted to be. He was still the same person inside and I still love him.
After revealing he was a woman trapped in a man’s body Zoey, who is studying to be a sound engineer, was terrified she’d lose Kelly and their children George, 10, and Molly, eight.
I was risking everything, but I couldn’t keep it hidden any longer as it was making me depressed. Kelly was shocked but supportive.
I’m lucky because our relationship is now stronger than ever.
Kelly and Warren met in a pub in 2007, before marrying the very next year and just two days after tying the knot, they discovered they were expecting their first child.
Not suspecting anything was wrong with their marriage it wasn’t until they started planning a fancy dress party for their 10th wedding anniversary last year that issues arose.
We both love the 80s, so decided to have that as our theme. I was going to go as the receptionist out of Beetlejuice while Warren wanted to go as a skater girl. I thought it’d be fun, but he began obsessing about it.
He shaved off his beard, did a complete body wax and started using diet pills. He even used measuring tape and bought a corset to cinch in his waist.
Afterwards I noticed he kept wearing the corset, which I thought was odd. I kept asking what was wrong but he said he was fine. He wouldn’t let me see his phone. I was sure he had someone else.
When Kelly eventually confronted her husband, she said he told her he wanted to be a woman, before bursting into tears.
The rest of the night was a blur as I was so shocked. Slowly, as we talked, I realised I had to let Warren be Zoey.
It wasn’t fair for me to stop that.
I realised I loved the person not the gender.
Zoey is now having hormone replacement therapy and waiting to be referred to a gender identity clinic.
I can’t wait to look on the outside how I feel on the inside. I want to have surgery to become a woman.
I realised I was different when I hit puberty and would cry about my body. I didn’t want it to change.
It took a lot longer to realise I was a woman trapped in a man’s body.
I didn’t know anything about being trans and thought it was wrong so I didn’t want to address it.
Then I met Kelly and fell in love and tried to hide that side of myself and those thoughts. I had bouts of depression but tried to push all those feelings aside.
I couldn’t confide in anyone but once I’d dressed up for our party something changed in me. I thought this was the chance to tell Kelly the truth and to be the real me.
I’m so lucky she still loves me – and the kids have been totally accepting.
The couple told their children that daddy is now ‘Mummy Zoey’ and would be dressing ‘just like mummy.’
They accepted it straight away. Molly smiled and said ‘if that’s what makes her happy.’
The couple are planning their wedding for as soon as Zoey has reassignment surgery, which could take three to four years.
We want to have a blessing and a big party for all our friends and family. I will wear a big gown and a small veil while Kelly still loves green. We’ll both be blushing brides.
And Zoey insists their love life is better than ever:
We’re so much closer and so we’re just as intimate but it’s more intense, as I don’t have to keep any secrets anymore.
Once I have the surgery we’ll have to find new ways to explore each other.
I love Zoey so much. She’s been so brave and I want everyone to accept her, just as I have.
I’m glad that she’s told me the truth – becoming a woman is far better than her having an affair which is what I feared at the time.
We’re still a happy family – and that’s all that matters.
What a wonderful love story.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.