Lisa Kelly, York LGBT Forum

Lisa Kelly is a transgender woman. She started life as Dave, growing up in a small Yorkshire town in the 1970s and 80s, and faced bullying throughout her childhood and at school: “I knew was not male, I did not fit in”. She eventually moved away to escape the bullying and started her new life as Lisa.

She struggled with thoughts of suicide herself when she was at her lowest point, but then overcame the huge obstacles that lay in her path to achieving her new identity. Lisa did not then retire into a quiet life after surgery, and became a role model and advocate for transgender people as co-Chair of York LGBT Forum – a charity that exist to ensures that the rights and interests of LGBT people are represented in York and North Yorkshire.

She has now become someone who can speak in public with honesty about what she has gone through, and even underwent her life changing surgery in a public way. 

In 2017 she featured in an exhibition about inspiring women at the National Trust’s Beningborough Hall.

In 2018 she was a speaker at York Women’s Conference.

Lisa has written a book Becoming Lisa which tells her story from being Dave, a shy boy, bullied throughout his life to becoming Lisa, a strong willed determined and independent transgender woman, campaigning against hate and bigotry to help others along their path to living their life as they wish and without fear. 

Researcher: Kate Hignett

Sources: Troubador Book Publishing. York Press. Yorklgbtforum.org.uk

Image: York Press.