This article taken from The Sun Newspaper. September 14th, 2009. Alastair Taylor.
WARNING... RACHEL IS 75 YEARS OLD! So you might just want to read the below article, and leave the photo behind.
EX-miner Rachel Fleetwood bragged today that she is Britain's oldest transsexual — at the ripe old age of SEVENTY-FIVE.
Three times married Rachel, who was born Roy Colton, lived most of her life as a MAN.
For decades manly Roy — who worked down the pit and at a railway — secretly dressed up in women's clothing despite having tattoos on his arms and knuckles.
But five years ago HE finally became a SHE and came out of the closet ... deciding she wanted to change sex and dress openly as a woman.
She admitted secretly taking hormone tablets for more than five years before announcing to friends and family shortly after her 70th birthday: "From now on call me Rachel."
Now she is legally known by the name after changing it by deed poll.
Rachel — who lives at a care home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire — wears lipstick and nail varnish every day, and staff help her to dress in smart women's clothing.
Today Rachel told how she got married and divorced three times despite having the hidden desire to live as a woman for more than 50 years.
Finally after the last marriage ended in divorce a decade ago Rachel started taking hormone tablets. And in n2004 she changed her name.
Rachel — whose three wives walked out after they realised her love of secretly dressing up — said: "I don't know anybody of the same age as me who is a transsexual. But I wanted to do it all my life, completely.
"My dad made me be a boxer, a wrestler, a footballer, a cricketer, all the men's games, and yet I wasn't that way inclined.
"After my third marriage broke down I thought, 'Right, this is the opportunity I've wanted, I'm going to take it'.
"I started taking hormones and then five years ago I changed my name to Rachel and stuck my grandma's surname on the end, Fleetwood.
"The staff dress me up around the home. I've got skirts and things in my wardrobe, and they will dress me up and take me down to dinner."
Rachel suffers osteoarthritis and is wheelchair-bound after a series of strokes — believed to have been brought on by the hormone tablets.
He said: "I bought the hormone tablets myself because I wanted to be a woman. I didn't ask my doctor - I think that's where I slipped up and that's why I've had these strokes.
"My first stroke took my arm out, the second took my left leg out. The doctor came to me and told me to stop taking the hormone tablets, otherwise they'd kill me.
"I was bitterly disappointed when I was told to stop. I was fuming, because I'd been taking them for a few years. I'm certain I got the same amount of pleasure as women do when they take Hormone Replacement Therapy. I feel there's a woman inside me trying to get out."
Rachel said she kept her cross-dressing private initially, as the moral climate of the 1950s made it impossible for a man to change his sex.
She added: "My first wife took me to court for a divorce and she openly said in the court, 'My husband is a transvestite'.
"That frightened me to death. Anybody could have been in there, and my life would have been over.
"At that time there were people going around bashing everybody up who didn't look right, so I had to do my dressing up in the dark at night time where nobody could see me."
Rachel said she first dressed as a woman by wearing her sister's clothes.
She added: "I wore a Mexican type of hat and one of my sister's dresses and under-petticoat.
"My mum saw me for the first time dressed up, and she gave me a compliment. She said, 'I didn't know I'd got two daughters', and I thought you can't get higher praise than that."
Rachel moved from Sheffield to Colne, Lancashire, in the 1950s, but recently moved back to a care home in the Yorkshire city.
She said the staff at the home were "very accepting" of her unconventional lifestyle.
She added: "I've had a happy life, no regrets. I've enjoyed my life, and I'd do it all over again if I could, because I've done nothing wrong as far as I can see. It's virtually like being born again."