SINGAPORE - When she was 10 years old and growing up as a boy, she was already dressing up in her sister's clothes.
"I thought I was a freak then," said Ms Fanny Ler.
She suppressed her feelings, fearing a backlash about her cross-dressing urges.
"I just didn't have any information then. I thought I would grow out of feeling like this," she said.
In 1997, Ms Ler, who was still a man, fell in love with a woman and got married.
The couple got divorced in 2008. They have a daughter who lives with her mother.
Ms Ler said the divorce was unrelated to her transition.
She said: "(My former wife) didn't even know that I had such thoughts at all."
But it was also around that time that Ms Ler learnt from the Internet that she might be suffering from gender identity disorder, a medical condition in which a person does not identify with the sex they were assigned with at birth.