|5 minutes read
"I knew I was a woman since I was young..."
Andi-Elizabeth Rutherford (She/her)
Read how Andi-Elizabeth became her true self and fought for equality and diversity in local colleges and organisations.
I knew I was a woman since I was young and told my doctor when I was 18, he said that there were no such things as being transgender, but I knew it was a thing and it was me!
I’m in my 60s and am a transgender woman, I only describe myself as transgender when I am talking about my transition, otherwise, I am a woman.
In my teens, I would secretly dress in women’s clothes at home and started going out in the middle of the night dressed up and putting myself at risk. The woman in me just had to get out! I left home but my 4 am trips continued. In my forties outside work, I was living as a woman almost full time but felt like I was living two lives.
Friends at work encouraged me to come out and since then I’ve been able to drive change at work to support trans people. I’m very proud that I’ve put equality and diversity onto the company’s agenda and worked with local colleges and the NHS to raise awareness. I’ve been told I have inspired other trans people to come out and live their true lives.
I got involved with Home Group after I changed my name and title and was having problems being misgendered at the customer service centre and receiving post in my old name. This was very upsetting for me so through the engagement team I helped Home Group make changes to their processes to make things easier for trans customers. I also got involved in Life Swaps and started sharing my story as part of training for colleagues and at external events and national conferences.
My role models are Emmeline Pankhurst whose passion really inspired me and Frances O’Grady who is a Trade Union leader, I am so impressed by how far she has come in a male-dominated workplace.