A VERY modern wedding: Sex-swap ex-fireman weds a lesbian Jamaican 30 years younger than her (and it's the fourth time she's tied the knot)
By Andy Dolan
Last updated at 12:26 AM on 12th February 2011
In this day and age, when a thrice-married former fireman who has become a woman meets a Jamaican lesbian chef online there can only be one outcome – wedding bells!
Or, rather, civil partnership bells.
This is 66-year-old Kerry Whybrow, dressed in a full-length custom-made lilac dress, tying the knot for the first time as a woman three years after undergoing a sex change on the NHS.
Her partner is Alcia Evans, a mother of one and almost 30 years her junior, who met Miss Whybrow through an international dating website.
The happy couple: Six foot two inch former fireman Kerry Whybrow and Alicia Evans tie the knot
And after the ceremony – and ticking the final box for a portrait of a very 21st century marriage – one of Miss Whybrow’s former wives laid on the reception.
Miss Whybrow spent 22 years in the fire service, fathered a daughter and enjoyed pursuits such as shark fishing, rugby and shooting during three marriages as the then Roger Steed.
The 6ft 2in former angling instructor met Miss Evans in 2008 but had spent just a fortnight with the 37-year-old Jamaican before she flew to England to prepare for their ‘wedding’.
Miss Evans, who has been living in Salt Lake City in the United States, arrived in December on a six month visa, which the couple hope will be extended in the light of their civil partnership.
First wife: Roger Steed and Audrey Morris in 1966. As Mr Steed, Mrs Whybrow spent 22 years in the fire service, fathered a daughter and enjoyed pursuits such as shark fishing, rugby and shooting
Whirlwind romance: With Sylvia Rogers in 1978. They divorced in 1987 and have not spoken for years
They said living in Jamaica is not an option because homophobia is rife on the island.
Miss Whybrow said of the ceremony at the register office in her home town of King’s Lynn, Norfolk: ‘It was a wonderful day.
‘There were a few strange looks from the locals when we came out of the register office but we don’t care about that. Alcia is a special lady who has given up a lot to be with me in cold rural England. I don’t think this is what she dreamed of in life.
‘I’m incredibly lucky to have found somebody who loves me for being me, after spending so much of my life as a man, always feeling something was not right.’
While Miss Whybrow’s only child, Heather, 41, snubbed the ceremony – having disowned her father in 2005 when the then Mr Steed announced he wanted to change gender – the wedding was attended by his third wife Cindy Steed, who even hosted a reception at her bungalow outside King’s Lynn.
She remains one of only a few former friends or relatives to have stood by Miss Whybrow since the sex change. The couple, who cannot afford a honeymoon, spent the night in a local hotel.
Miss Evans, whose five-year-old son lives with his grandparents in Jamaica, wore a long green dress for the ceremony.
Her parents do not know she is a lesbian, let alone that she has just entered into a civil partnership with a woman who was formerly a man.
But Miss Evans, whose sister Rogers Parnther flew in from America for the service, said she was comfortable with her partner’s background.
‘I have only known Kerry as a woman and that is how I see her,’ she added. ‘I’m very happy with her, I love her very much.’
Miss Whybrow, who now cleans buses for a living, said she was 14 or 15 when she first tried on women’s clothing, but fought a secret battle with her gender through the three marriages until she was eventually diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
Born in Ashton, near Manchester, Miss Whybrow was adopted by Catherine and Frank Steed, a couple in their 50s who ran a bed and breakfast in Devon. She married – as Roger Steed – for the first time in 1966 to Audrey Morris and their daughter was born three years later.
The couple ‘drifted apart’ and divorced in 1977 but in 1978 a second marriage, to Sylvia Rogers, followed after a whirlwind courtship. They divorced in 1987 and have not spoken for years.
But last night Sylvia Steed told of her reaction to her former husband’s latest romance. Mrs Steed, from Hereford, said: ‘I am completely shocked. I had no idea throughout our marriage [that Roger felt this way about his gender]. I thought he was just a normal man.
‘He once trained to be a social worker and he came home and said his tutor had called him a sexist, a racist, and a homophobe and said he was screwed up.’
In 1989 Miss Whybrow said ‘I do’ for the third and final time as a man, marrying the then Cindy Rawlings-Witt. But within a couple of years he confessed that he felt trapped in the wrong gender.
The sympathetic bride allowed her husband to wear her clothes around the house, but it was only when the relationship formally ended in 2003 that the transsexual sought medical help and began dressing in public as a woman before going on to have full ‘gender reassignment surgery’ in 2008.
Okay, this is beyond weird. But, I'm sure that Wilbur will tell me that I should just get over my hangups and feel good about the happy couple...