Toowoomba-born military officer Cate McGregor is a celebrated transgender woman.
Toowoomba-born military officer Cate McGregor is a celebrated transgender woman. Contributed

Toowoomba woman shares story: Living as transgender

TOOWOOMBA-born military officer Cate McGregor is a celebrated transgender woman.

So much so, there is even a Sydney-based play about her life Still Point Turning which tells the story of her career and personal life growing up as Malcolm McGregor.

The former St Mary's College school captain had a distinguished career in the military before turning to politics in which she acted as adviser and speech writer for the Labor and Liberal parties.

She has been featured on many television shows and in newspaper articles over the years and will tonight appear on ABC TV's Home Delivery program at 8pm.

The interview with Julia Zemiro is focused on her life dealing with gender dysphoria.

A preview of the interview online has already been viewed 42,000 times, with hundreds of people sharing their admiration for her.

In the interview she revealed she had doubts about her gender from a very young age.

"I remember having these vaguely cross-gender identifications, in that I'd think of myself and imagine myself as a girl," she said.

"I was asked to be a girl in a school play in grade two and I was razzed by my friends terribly, but I was conflicted because I actually enjoyed it."

Ms McGregor also described the time her mother found out she had snuck into her closet to try on women's clothing while she was out.

"She told me not to do that. She really laid it on me and said 'you know your father would be rolling in his grave and would be deeply ashamed of you'," she said.

Catherine McGregor AM is a a leader for the transgender community. Photo Contributed
Cate McGregor. Contributed

She also tells of how she became diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

The first time was in 1985 when her feelings had reached a crescendo but she was discouraged by her doctor to change herself due to her successful career, being told she'd lose it all.

But, the day after her mum's funeral in 1992 she went back to the doctor and said she was ready and she could do it no matter what, kick starting her transgender journey.

When Ms McGregor was named Queensland Australian of the Year in 2016 she said she owed it to Toowoomba and Queensland to be as visible as possible.

She plans to continue giving visibility to transgender people in Australia, who she said had been marginalised.