Finding Gaynor: an uplifting story of embracing one’s true self
Nicholas Cheffings, a real estate lawyer, met Geoffrey Warren Wright, a senior surveyor, 20 years ago when the two went on tour together to give talks on the industry. Since then, they became friends and stayed in contact over the following years, until the moment Nicholas received a call from his dear friend whose name was no longer Geoffrey. Geoffrey had embraced her true self and was now Gaynor. This is their story.
Excerpt from Estate Gazette
“ […] In December 2017, with the help of a supportive friend, I arranged to see Dr Vickie Pasterski, a specialist in gender identity and gender non-conforming behaviour. I recognised that I needed to understand myself, why this was happening to me and what my options were. Vickie diagnosed me as having gender dysphoria and referred me to the London Transgender Clinic. On my first visit, I stood terrified on the steps, a shining black gloss painted door facing me. I rang the bell and the door opened.I entered, shaking with nerves, but for the first time in my life I felt safe. In time I concluded that if I didn’t embrace change, with all the challenges that it necessarily involves, then I wouldn’t live much longer. It is fair to say that the team at LTC, in particular registered nurse Mary Burke, saved my life. They persuaded me to confront myself and to accept that Gaynor was who I really was and had been all my life.
I should rightly commend the love and support given to me by my wife and grown-up children, Christopher and Penny. They now understand the trauma that has inhabited me for most of my life.
I hope that you can see that my decision to change my gender is an informed decision that I have taken with full clinical support.
My former PA, Kat, who I took on many years ago as a raw but enthusiastic 24-year-old graduate summed it up perfectly, saying:
“I appreciate the time you have taken to tell your story. It’s so hard to appreciate what a burden this must have been to carry around all these years, and what a relief it must be now. I’m so happy that you finally feel you can be your true self and are on this journey.
“I am also very pleased that you chose to share this with me. I can’t imagine what it takes to come out to friends and people you care about, not knowing how they will react. All I can say is that if they are not accepting or treat you with anything less than love and care, then they are not worth your energy.
“Some people may take time. Give them that time if needed, but otherwise save your energy for yourself and the people who deserve it. Life is too short.”
My transition has been so happy, if at times mentally challenging. However, everybody that I know has been unbelievably kind and supportive – my male and female friends, those somewhere in-between (non-binary/gender fluid), past and present work colleagues, the kids and my wonderful new neighbours. The property industry, in generic terms, has been simply wonderful.
The personal emotional cost of my journey has been immense, but from the moment that I accepted who I really was it has been fabulous. To publicly gain Nicholas as a friend and ally of the trans community is somewhat overwhelming but so welcome.
I am now mentally in a far better place than I have ever been. Above all, I am in an incredibly happy place.”
Read the full article on Estate Gazette.
A special thanks to Gaynor Warren Wright, Nicholas Cheffings, and Samantha McClary.