Sex swap girl 'I've copied Harry Styles to look like the perfect boy'
Tuesday 20 November 2012
For 20-year-old Catrina Best, Harry Styles’ floppy hair and cheeky smile are perfect. But, unlike Harry’s hordes of female fans, Catrina doesn’t fancy the One Direction star – instead, she’s desperate to become a boy, and is basing her new look on him.
Catrina, who’s saving for sex-change surgery, often gets mistaken for Harry, 18, on the street – and is even chased by girls! The student, who’s been diagnosed as transgender, says: “Harry’s the perfect boy and I think I’m a good lookalike. I love the attention I get from girls!”
Catrina models herself on Harry Styles (below)
Only child Catrina first felt different from other girls at five years old. “I hated my long hair,” she recalls. “I nagged Mum to let me wear trousers, but she insisted I put on dresses.”
Aged eight, her feelings caused Catrina to become so withdrawn that her worried parents took her to a therapist, who diagnosed depression. As she hit puberty, Catrina – who was born in Northern Ireland but moved to her current home of Lisbon, Portugal, with her Portuguese mum and British dad when she was 11 – struggled even more.
She says: “At 13, my breasts grew and my periods started, and I hated it. I’d flatten my bust with tight vests and I cut my hair short. I got bullied because I looked different.”
She adds: “I didn’t fancy boys, but felt confused. At 16, I slept with a boy to try to feel ‘normal,’ but it left me numb. I later realised I wanted to be with girls – but as the male in a straight relationship.”
Catrina says she hated her body as a teen
Catrina started a law degree at uni last September – and leaving home helped her feel able to research her feelings online. After discovering gender identity disorder, where sufferers feel they are born the wrong sex, she began seeing a therapist and was diagnosed with the condition two months ago.
“It was a huge relief,” says Catrina, who then decided to use her surname, Best, as her first name and live as a boy. “I wanted to model my new look on someone – I followed One Direction on X Factor and love their music, so I decided to look like Harry if I could.”
She studied photos of the star, then spent £2,000 on clothes worn by Harry, including shirts from Topman and American Apparel, and even Calvin Klein underpants.
“Dressing as Harry made me feel confident, so I copied his hair too,” says Catrina. “I spend 30 minutes every day perfecting the ‘Harry look.’”
Catrina, who plans to take hormones next year to trigger facial and body hair growth and deepen her voice, has already started binding her 32D breasts.
While her friends are accepting, Catrina’s parents have found it hard. “They thought they could talk me out of my ‘condition,’” she says. “It hurt when they said I’d always be a girl to them. I hope, in time, they’ll see they really had a son all along. But having a role model like Harry makes it easier.”
Catrina is now learning to play the guitar like her idol. She says: “People say my bone structure, eyes and lips are almost identical to Harry’s, and I’ve been asked for autographs. I haven’t started dating yet, but girls flirt with me and I even get chatted up by older women, like Harry does! But I want to have my op before I date.”
Catrina adds: “Harry gives me the guts to be transgender. I hope he invites me to a gig one day!