A former trained soldier has swapped her Territorial Army beret for a veil and become Britain's first transgender Muslim woman.
Lucy Vallender used to be called Laurens and says she is finally 'true to herself' after a sex change three years ago.
The 28-year-old is now married to a Muslim man she met on an online dating site, but he did not know she was once a man when they wed.
She now wears a full veil outside her Swindon home to show the world she is married.
The former labourer said 'she used to love firing guns' and claims she drank regularly with the other squaddies as a TA private, but Lucy knew at 14 she wanted to become a woman.
'I tried to do macho things you know to stop how I was thinking, but it didn't work because I was trying to be someone I wasn't,' she said.
'I felt differently to others - I was attracted to men.
'But I suppressed my feelings and tried to live like most people my age.
'I'd go out clubbing with friends and drink a lot of alcohol.
'I had girlfriends too, but it would never get physical and always fizzled out after a couple of months.
'Joining the TA was my final attempt at trying to fit in to that kind of life but I couldn't handle it anymore and left after about a year.
'I felt like I was in the wrong body. To carry on living as a male was living a lie.'
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