To the passer-by Carla Lamprey and daughter Charlie look just like any other mum and daughter browsing the latest fashions in the High St shops.
But astonishingly mum Carla used to be dad Paul.
And after Paul’s marriage to Jane* broke up three years ago – he remained with the children, Charlie, now 17, and Conor, 15, turning himself into the perfect mum and housewife.
Carla – who admits she felt her ex had perfect looks – has even tried to recreate herself as she was. Carla, 48, says: “I took my inspiration from my ex. I idolised her looks. So I dyed my hair the same sort of blonde she was and had my face lasered so I was as smooth as she was.
“Now people never guess I’m not their biological mum. And in fact friends who knew me as Paul say I look better and younger than ever.”
The unusual set up came about after Carla’s marriage to the children’s mum, Jane, 40, broke up. By then Carla had confessed she wanted to be a full-time woman.
Carla says: “Before then I used to dress up in women’s clothes occasionally and Jane and I would go out for a drink together. But she became upset and said she couldn’t cope when I wanted to dress full time as a woman.”
When Jane left it meant Carla could live as a woman.
Carla takes hormones and has developed a bust and hips. However, she has decided not to undergo a full sex change in case she ever wants to revert back to being Paul again.
However, the children still call Carla ‘dad’. “He’s the same dad, however he dresses,” explains Conor who like sister Charlie is so used to Carla they do not find it unusual.
We placed Carla’s story in The Sun and are now sorting further deals for the family, who were thrilled with their positive story in the paper. It attracted many comments, many of which were very complimentary about the way Carla has been so open with the children.
Carla said: “We all loved the story in The Sun and Conor even took some papers to school to show his friends.”
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* Jane’s name has been changed.