TV & Radio
Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 16:39 GMT
Second 'wedding' after sex change - BBC
A husband and wife have "remarried" under new civil partnership laws - 14 years after the groom stopped living as a man to become a woman.
Bernard and Joyce Rogers married 38 years ago but have lived "like sisters" since 1991, when Bernadette - as she is now known - underwent gender surgery.
Bernadette, who was born and brought up in south London, said she had always known she was really a woman.
The couple live Woodford Halse, near Daventry, Northamptonshire.
Now retired, Bernadette was once the director of research for the Rank Organisation and helped develop colour television and teletext services.
She also acted as chief scientific adviser to Margaret Thatcher's government on broadcast technology.
She married Joyce, the widow of her best friend, almost 38 years ago and became a stepfather to her two children.
The 76-year-old finally got her two wishes on Monday this week; to be officially recognised as a woman and to be legally married to Joyce.
The couple were granted an early release from divorce proceedings by a judge at Northampton County Court on Monday - allowing Bernadette a new birth certificate showing her as a woman - and then took part in the civil union ceremony.
On Wednesday she said: "I have been waiting 71 years for this.
"I stood in front of the mirror in my bedroom this morning and thought 'Yes, you have done it now'."
The Gender Recognition Bill, which became law last year, brought formal rights to a person with a diagnosed gender identity condition once they had been medically treated.
The Bill gave legal acknowledgement of the change in their gender status.
But it refused such acknowledgements if the transsexual remained married, meaning that Bernadette and Joyce had to divorce in order for the law to recognise Bernadette's status as a woman.
8 December 2005
MR & MRS BECAME SISTER & MRS WHO BECAME MRS & MRS
Sex-swap husband 'remarries' wife
By Robert Stansfield - The Mirror
A HUSBAND and wife have "remarried" - 14 years after the groom stopped living as a man to become a woman.
Bernard and Joyce Rogers wed in 1967 but have lived "like sisters" since 1991, when Bernadette - as she is now known - underwent gender surgery.
The retired physicist is now legally recognised as a woman thanks to the Gender Recognition Bill which became law last year - and that meant she was able to have a civil partnership ceremony with Joyce on Monday.
Bernadette said yesterday: "We have exactly the same affection for each other we have always had.
"We have an absolutely ideal relationship. We complement each other in every way."
The proud 76-year-old added: "I stood in front of the mirror in my bedroom this morning and thought, 'Yes, you have done it now.' It is a sense of completion."
Bernadette, of Woodford Halse, near Daventry, Northants, was brought up in South London and knew from a very young age she wanted to be a woman. She revealed: "When I was young a consultant told my parents to make a man out of me or I would turn out homosexual.
"I always knew I was something else - but of course I had to keep it hidden. That was the way things were done back then."
Almost 38 years ago, she married Joyce, the widow of her best friend, and became a stepfather to her two children.
Bernadette, whose plight later led to several suicide attempts and brought on epilepsy, said: "We married, she knowing that I had a serious problem but not knowing the details."
As director of research for the Rank Organisation, she helped develop colour television and teletext services.
Bernadette also acted as chief scientific adviser to Margaret Thatcher's Government on broadcast technology.
Then, in the late 80s, she went to see a specialist about her life-long problem. She said: "I was told it had to be treated by full gender re-assignment or I would not survive.
"The consultant said, 'Now you have to make Joyce understand.'"
Not much later, Bernard told his wife in the coffee shop of Sainsbury's in Northampton that he needed to live as a woman.
Joyce, 80, said: "I was somewhat taken aback. But I could not throw a wobbly there, could I?
"From that point on I was determined to support her."
Before "remarrying", the couple first had to divorce - because the Gender Recognition Bill does not acknowledge a change in a transsexual's gender if the person remains married.
A judge granted the couple an early release from divorce proceedings at Northampton County Court on Monday, giving Bernadette a new birth certificate which showed she is a woman.
They were then able to have their civil union ceremony.
Husband is a new wife
Joyce ... and Bernadette
By JOHN ASKILL - The Sun Dec. 8, 2005
A COUPLE say they “re-married” under new laws — 14 years after the groom became a woman.
Bernard and Joyce Rogers had lived “like sisters” since his sex change surgery in 1991.
They were wed for 38 years but legally were forced to divorce before Bernadette — as she is now known — could be given a female birth certificate.
The couple say they were legally separated for half an hour this week — just enough time to produce the new birth certificate so the civil partnership ceremony in Northampton could go ahead.
Bernadette, who wanted to become a woman from the age of five, said yesterday: “I’ve been waiting 71 years for this.
“I stood in front of the mirror in my bedroom this morning and thought, ‘Yes, you have done it now’.”
She added: “When I was young the consultant told my parents to ‘make a man out of me’ or I would turn homosexual.
“I always knew I was something else but I had to keep it hidden.That was the way things were done back then.”
Physicist Bernadette, 76, from Woodford Halse, Northants, was chief scientific adviser to the Thatcher government on broadcast technology.
As Bernard, he married Joyce, the widow of his best friend, in the 1960s and became stepfather to her two children.