Monica Mulholland: “I was always a woman”

Monica Mulholland is the first trans chair person of Rotary New Zealand’s Inner Wheel Club. She grew up in 1960s Catholic Ireland and came out as trans in her fifties after decades of hiding her true identity.

Monica Mulholland, chair of New Zealand’s Inner Wheel Club, has shared her story of coming out as trans in the latest episode of OUTcast.

“I knew when I was about five or six that I was in the wrong body,” she tells host of the podcast, Rosie Pentreath.

Monica has written that, “People sometimes ask when I decided to become a woman. I reply: ‘I was always a woman. I just decided to stop hiding the fact.'”

Explaining what she means by this on OUTcast, Monica says, “there are a number of aspects to that question actually, because there is the guilt aspect and the burden that you carry of this Goddamn secret… It wears you down because you can’t be true. You can’t be your real self for so many reasons: societal ones and shame ones.”

“But also I suppose it’s like having a twin or something like that. You have somebody else who’s almost inside of you, who you’re sharing your life with… you’ve got to be careful and guard her and make sure she doesn’t get exposed and nobody finds out about her.”

Monica discusses what impact coming out as trans in her fifties had on her life, and why positive trans representation in the media was so important in her coming out journey.

Click here to find out more about Rotary New Zealand’s Inner Wheel Club.

Published by Rosie Pentreath

Founder and host of OUTcast Podcast. Rosie is an LGBTQ+ writer, digital producer and musician, often found travelling to some far flung place or other, to take photographs on a 1970s Pentax SLR camera or flick through a good book. Rosie has contributed to Reader's Digest, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Classic FM, BBC Music Magazine, Homes & Antiques, Music Feeds, The Fashion Spot and other arts and lifestyle publications.

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