A woman born with both male and female genitals has lived as a man for more than 40 years because her mum and dad did not tell her she was born as a hermaphrodite until she was 19.
Caroline Kinsey had been living as a male after undergoing surgery as a toddler, and growing up as 'Carl John Baker.'
She suffered teasing at school, but assumed 'everybody's body looked like hers' until her parents told her she had been born with male AND female sex organs.
Caroline says her parents, Monica and Rudolph Baker, had kept her condition from her 'for as long as possible' on medical advice, and because they 'didn't know any better,' after she was born in Lancashire in 1968.
Two years ago, Caroline, now 44, decided to start dressing as a woman, and now wants to be known as female.
She told Small World News Service that after a period of depression and a short, failed marriage to a female, she now wishes to take on a 'female persona'.
She said: "From being young I have always known I was different. I could never quite put my finger on why. A doctor told my mother they should deny me my first birthright, the chance to be a woman, in favour of my second birthright, being a man,
"The doctor said it would be easier to hide my female genitalia than the male one, so knowing no different that is what they did.
My parents were advised to keep my secret from me and the rest of the world for as long as possible.
Caroline had a hard time at school, never had a girlfriend, and never really fitted in. She lost contact with her family after she and her brother Martin were taken into care in 1970, after their parents left them home alone.
When she got back in touch with her mother when she was 19, she was told there was something important she needed to know.
"She told me to sit down and she went and fetched my baby book," Caroline says, "In there were pictures of me as a baby and details of my birth.
"She started to tell me about the day she gave birth to me and the reaction by the nurse.
Everything all of a sudden started to make sense. My whole life people had sensed I was different."
Caroline continued to live her life as a man, but after her failed marriage and spiralling depression, decided to start dressing as a woman.
She said: "I feel happier than ever now. I feel healthy and don't even look back into my past because I don't want to remember it.
I am now looking into having surgery to remove my male genitalia forever. Hopefully, this will enable me to put the past behind me and help me move on and find love.
She is now planning surgery to remove her male genitalia, and hopes that this will enable her to move on and 'find love'.
Campaigners for intersex groups say there are often public misunderstandings about the condition.
Dr Jay Hayes-Light, director of the UK Intersex Association, says: "Being intersex is not a lifestyle choice, but a medical condition.
"Caroline's case is typical of that of an a intersex child who had no idea about their condition.
"The public often confuse intersex people with those who are transgender because of a lack of understanding.'
"Discrimination against intersex people is often the unreported abuse of a minority, which has for generations been kept a secret by parents and other family members.
"Gay people are now, rightly so, accepted into society and have a right to live as part of the community. Intersex people also deserve these same rights.
"I back Caroline's appeal for people to be more tolerant and hope people realise her condition has been inherited, not chosen."
What a sad story. We hope Caroline does manage to move on and make a new life for herself.