Joy Liddicoat: Transgenders make plea for acceptance

How Noel became Noeleena, the story of the 60-year-old married builder who had gender reassignment surgery, is at heart about how important it is to assert our true identity.

Noel had always known he was different, a girl born in a boy’s body. But as a child it would not have been wise to go public.

As Noeleena said this week: “Back then in 1958 I would have been thrown in Lake Alice if I said anything, and I knew no one would know what I was talking about.”

By all accounts, when Noeleena returned home to Waimate nobody batted an eyelid and she has taken another step in her new life, happy at last to be acknowledged as a woman.