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04 September 2015

Donna Gee (1949–) sports writer, journalist

Gerry Greenberg was raised by a Jewish family in Caerphilly, Wales. His mother died of polio when he was six, and he was then sent to boarding school until father remarried.

His first job at age 16 was with the Pontypridd Observer weekly newspaper, where he gave singer Tom Jones his first write-up. He married and they had two daughters.
"I was in denial in public, but privately became a woman at any opportunity. I kept a bag of [women's] clothes in the garden shed that I took with me on assignment, and would dress up in the privacy of hotel rooms. Even though I knew there were many others like me out there, I was paranoid about being caught."
One time in the 1970s, Gerry's wife dressed him up as a woman for fun, but realized that it turned him on. She went to the doctor, and said that he was gay. They did not talk about it again for many years.

Gerry worked for the Express newspapers until 1976 when he moved to Manchester to work for the Jewish Chronicle and the Manchester Jewish Gazette. He then became part of the team that launched the new tabloid paper, The Daily Star in 1978 (again an Express newspaper), which was designed to use spare capacity on the Manchester presses. Gerry became the Star's rugby correspondent.

In 1992 Gerry wrote England Rugby star Wade Dooley's autobiography.

In 1997 Gerry searched 'transgender' and 'Manchester' on the Internet and found a local group. Regular e-mail exchanges followed until Gerry's wife noticed, and when she realized what was going on, she gave him a spare lipstick. Together they attended meetings and socials for trans people.
"It was stressful being two people. In time, I realized that my ultimate dream was to become a woman".
Greenberg's boss found out from an anonymous e-mail in 1999. A rumour went around that a sub-editor was changing. A betting book was opened on the identity.
"If only I’d known I was listed as a 40-1 outsider, my winnings could have paid for my surgery!"
Gerry wrote to workmates while on holiday in Israel, and became Donna Gee. The daughters, now in their thirties were accepting as were the five grandchildren.

Donna worked as a sub-editor for Metro, and the northern sports desk of The Sunday People. She had full sex affirmation in 2003. She also had electrolysis, breast augmentation, a facelift, her adam’s apple reduced and an eye lift in her quest to be a proper female. In all she paid £25,000.

In 2006 Donna and wife retired to Spain, although still doing work for papers in Manchester and Israel. They initially told the neighbours in Spain that they were cousins, but the kids visited and the neighbours asked which one was the mother to which and it became easier to tell the truth which was accepted.

She is working on her own autobiography.
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Donna Gee said...

This article is an extremely distorted version of reality, which I would not complain about had you stuck with professional sources and 'facts' that are accurate. Much of the above is a total distortion of my life and career - and headlines about a 'macho sports editor'' ''becoming a transsexual' demonstrate the ignorance of some of the sources. I have always been trans - it just took me more than half a lifetime to overcome my shame and embarrassment and realise just how lucky I was. The outcome was inevitable and I am now happier than I have ever been in my life.I also have an amazing family whose loyalty and total support has been incredible. If someone involved in compiling this article would contact me, I will be happy to help correct the multitude of inaccuracies. I do not hide my transgenderism, though many people who read my articles and blogs have no idea. Hopefully my autobiography will clear up all the misconceptions - if and when anyone dares publish it!

Zagria said...

If is always fun when journalists complain about the press. "multitude of inaccuracies", "extremely distorted" ?? and yet the only thing you cite is the title, not the content, of the Wales Online article. Surely you do not expect me to change someone else's title?

"I have always been trans" - and almost everybody who is reading on this site. You chose not to be trans for several decades, and thus 'became a transsexual', although not the most acurate phrrase, is not unreasonable for the end of that phase of your life.

Part of your autobiography is available for reading on CreateSpace. Why haven't you released the book? CreateSpace books are available through Amazon.

My email address is in my profile. If you care to write we can address any errors of fact.