Ex-King’s Lynn reporter’s book tells of incredible Joe

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A man whose mother won a landmark victory to have his birth certificate amended to female when he was a child and is now fighting for it to revert to being male.

Joe Holliday tells his story in a new book She’s A Boy written by Louise Chapman – who, until the beginning of this year, had been a news reporter in Lynn for eight years.

Louise spent four years working in her spare time to get the book to publication, which finally happened on Monday.

She’s A Boy tells Joe’s life story. Already the Kindle edition has featured in the top ten selling biographies and memoirs on Amazon and is getting five star reviews.

Louise, 35, said: “Joe is the most amazing person. He has been through so much in his life, stuff that is incomprehensible to most of us, yet he is level-headed, sensible and has such dignity.

“The most brilliant part of this process so far has been seeing the outpouring of messages of support for Joe on social media and the internet.

“She’s A Boy was previewed in the Daily Mail and more than 400 people commented on the story – every comment I saw said how brave and handsome he is. That is just wonderful, especially for someone who has faced such demons with their identity and self image.”

Joe was born with cloacal exstrophy, a rare birth defect that left his abdominal region partially formed and meant his genitalia was almost non-existent.

Although he was initially registered male, doctors advised his mother to raise him as a girl believing it would be too psychologically damaging for Joe to be a boy without a penis. He was prescribed oestrogen and his name changed to Joella.

In 1998, after years of public campaigning, Joe’s family won an amendment to his birth certificate to allow him to be recognised as female.

It wasn’t until he was 25 that Joe discovered the full truth about his beginnings when a chromosome test revealed he had been born with the genetics typical of a man.

For so long Joe had refused to acknowledge his own feelings that he did not fit in as a woman but the test results allowed him to voice it and begin living as a man. He is now attempting to get his birth certificate changed back to male.

She’s A Boy is published by Thistle Publishing and available via Amazon, £3.99 for Kindle, £9.99 for paperback.