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Friday, 29 August 2014

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UNHAPPY BOY TO AN ANGEL

Relationship: Despite the threats, Angel has made a life for herself with boyfriend, Martin

By Hazel Mollison

A CARLISLE College student who became the youngest person in Britain to have a sex change has said she had always known she was a girl.

Angel Paris-Jordan, who was just 17 when she had the operation, appeared on ITV’s This Morning programme yesterday.

But the Wigton girl, now aged 21, said the publicity is taking its toll on her private life. She has reported death threats to police, and says she is afraid to walk around Carlisle city centre alone.

Angel, who was born Oliver Wheadon, told the News & Star: “I’ve felt I was a girl for as long as I can remember. I was brought up as a girl. I was called ‘she’ at primary school.

“My best friends were girls. I used to wear leggings to school and dress up in my mum’s clothes when I got home.”

She started taking her mum’s HRT pills aged nine, and was prescribed oestrogen pills by doctors when she was 14.

She said her parents have always been supportive.

She said: “I was never a Cumbrian lad. I was always known as Angel and I changed my name when I was 13.”

But she claims problems began when she started at Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton.

She said: “I got tortured at school. I wasn’t allowed to use the boys’ toilets or the girls’ so I had to use the staff one.

“I was sexually assaulted on two occasions. I was bullied by everybody.”

She said she was physically assaulted by fellow pupils on a regular basis.

She said: “Eventually I couldn’t go to school any more. I was harming myself, slitting my wrists.”

But Angel told millions of This Morning TV viewers yesterday how she got 11 GCSEs including 10 A*s despite skipping school because of bullying.

Angel became anorexic, and after she took an overdose of pain killers aged 14 she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. She said: “Because I did not want to develop as a man I starved myself.

“I was in and out of hospital for a year and a half.”

During this time she began gender reassignment surgery, and had the final operation at 17.

On Sunday night she received 25 abusive phone calls after her story appeared in the News of the World.

“They are threatening violence and gang rape,” she said.

She added: “My family have been hounded. I’m afraid to walk around the town centre on my own any more.”

Angel is taking an access course at Carlisle College and hopes to read forensic psychology at university.

Her boyfriend, Martin, 35, is a Post Office driver. Viewers on yesterday’s This Morning heard how he had not known about Angel’s past until recently.

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