This England

Recently I was invited to my friend's wedding. Hesitantly, a few days later she told me that the invitation may be withdrawn. I am a male-to-female transsexual, living and working as a woman. However, my friend's husband to be has said that I can only come as a man and is worried about how his family may react to my presence. I am extremely angry about her fiance's attitude, especially as he is a very active member of the local Labour Party. What can I do? - Problem page in the Guardian (Sir Robert Calderwood)

Kind headteacher seeks attractive professional lady, who is smart, reasonably educated, sensible and serious (yet occasionally frivolous and light-hearted). Enjoys walking, gardening, music, theatre, cooking and sailing. Dislikes overcooked vegetables, particularly cabbage. - Catholic Unattached Directory (Sigrid Rabiger)

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This article first appeared in the 29 January 2001 issue of the New Statesman, The fall of Mandelson