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Friday, October 14, 2005

The girl with two mums - who used to be men

Banburytoday

A GIRL being brought up by two mums who used to be men in the 'wierdest family in Britain' went on national television this week to say they are just normal and happy.

Louise Jarvis, 12, was the star of Real Families, an hour-long ITV documentary in which she said she's happy living with her two transsexual parents and wouldn't change a thing.

Louise lives in Claydon with her natural father Brian (now Sarah) and her former partner Kate West, who until 2002 was a lorry driver called Lee.

"I see us as just a normal family," said Louise, a pupil at Kineton School. "I knew that myfather was having the operation but I always knew Daddy would be in my heart. He would be with me but in a different form,"

"Since then I have called him mum and Kate is Kate. The national newspapers said we were the wierdest family in Britain and I wanted to tell people that it wasn't true. That's why I did the documentary.

"We're the same as anyone else. I have my friends round for sleepovers like anyone else. They don't treat me any different to other girls. We live a normal life. We have six cats, I'm doing well at school and I'm learning to play the flute.

"My mates are all OK about it now. The only time things were not so good and my school work suffered was when the papers wrote horrible stories about us.

"The film crew spent about three months following the family and even went with Sarah and Louise to have their hair done by Banbury hairdresser Paul Joseph.

Sarah and Kate met on a gay blind date five years ago and became partners. They had both been cross-dressing for years and after 12-months together decided to have sex change operations. Louise, who had lived with her dad since he and ex-wife Hayley split up when she was three, accompanied Brian and Lee to pre-op counselling sessions.

"I told her when she was eight," said Sarah, 34."It didn't really confuse her. Children are not naturally prejudiced. They just want their parents to love them.

"Kate, 44, said: "We wanted to set the record straight."The documentary was from Louise's point of view. She wanted to make her mum feel good and change the way people thought about us as a family."

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