(Sunday Mirror) SHOCKED DAUGHTER EMILY STILL WANTS HIM TO WALK HER DOWN AISLE
When Emily Wallis tracked down the dad she had never met they had more in common than she expected… including their taste in shoes, dresses and make-up.
Instead of the “Italian Stallion” her mum Ann had described, Clive Harrison was a lipstick-wearing, bewigged transvestite who now calls himself Chloe, and has EIGHTY-TWO pairs of high-heeled shoes.
Emily, 22, says: “Chloe was squeezed into a silver dress and wearing make-up and a wig. I had no idea what to do so I said, ‘You look better than me… and I really like your shoes’.”
Emily adds: “For years I had dreamed of us all being reunited. I’d even secretly harboured a hope that Clive and Mum might get back together. But when I saw my dad I realised that certainly wasn’t going to happen!” Emily was a teenager when her mum broke the devastating news that the man who had raised her was not her real father.
After recovering from the shock, she immediately began to search for the tattooed boxer who had moved to Australia before her mum could tell him she was pregnant.
From an early age Emily had a strange feeling that she did not fully belong as she grew up with an older sister and two big brothers. But she continued to see the man she thought was her father but wasn’t, even after her parents divorced when she was seven.
“My dad was always closer to my sister but he had no idea I wasn’t his daughter,” says Emily. “Unknown to him mum had been having an affair with Clive behind his back when she was in her 20s.
“Naturally we hadn’t bonded like a normal father and daughter as there wasn’t a biological link. When I was young I remember thinking I didn’t look like my sister. When I watched her play with my brothers I’d think, ‘Why aren’t I like them’?”
Yet it was not until Emily was 19 that her mother started telling her about an old boyfriend called Clive.
“She told me he was a tall, tanned, macho biker who she’d nicknamed The Italian Stallion. Then suddenly she blurted out, ‘He’s your real dad’.
“My jaw dropped but everything suddenly made sense. There were lots of tears and we stayed up until 5am talking about him. And I begged her to help me find him.” Ann, who lives in Hastings, East Sussex, told Emily that in fact she had bumped into Clive a year earlier in 2005 in his home town of Herne Bay in Kent. She also told him that he had a daughter.
But she begged him not to contact Emily until she was 21 so Clive flew back to Australia.
“He’d left my mum his phone number but she’d lost it,” says Emily. “It wasn’t until six months later that she found it and there never seemed to be an answer when we called,” she adds. For two years Emily kept trying the number as she embarked on a quest to reunite her mum with her “one true love”.
But it wasn’t until earlier this year that an old friend told Ann that Clive was now back in Margate… and dropped the bombshell that he was living as a woman.
“Mum got in touch and discovered that it was true,” says receptionist Emily. “He was living as a woman and calling himself Chloe. He begged mum not to tell me as he was terrified that I’d be ashamed. It took three months for mum to convince him I would be OK with it. But I was shaking when mum explained he wanted a sex change.
“I was really nervous when I went to meet him at a bar near his flat. When we came face to face, the meeting was very emotional.
“We hugged for ages and couldn’t stop crying. Then I noticed we had the same chin! Chloe kept saying she was sorry, but I wasn’t angry”, she says. “He looked glamorous and I was surprised by how feminine he was in a wig and silver dress.”
Clive told Emily that he had been married to a beauty queen when he began the affair with Ann.
But he had struggled with his sexuality for years, making himself on the outside the opposite of the person on the inside. Even as a five-year-old he had secretly dressed up in his mother’s clothes. Since then he had gone through three marriages, satisfying his secret desires by sneaking out after dark dressed as a woman.
By 2003 he had become so revolted by his male genitals that he had tried to perform a DIY sex change attempting to push his penis inside himself. Left in agony, he lost his libido and became completely celibate as he openly started dressing as a woman in the evening.
Clive renamed himself Chloe and felt free at last, splashing out on 82 pairs of shoes and 14 wigs. He is now waiting for a full sex change operation, hopefully next year.
Emily couldn’t be happier at being reunited with her biological father.
“I don’t see her as dad or another mum, she’s just Chloe and I’m grateful to have her in my life.
“I’m proud of her and will be at her hospital bedside when she has the full sex change operation. I even want Chloe to be the one to walk me down the aisle when I get married. I’ll be so proud she is there.”
Mum-of-one-Emily has yet to tell the man she thought was her father about Chloe. “I will have to tell him at some point that I’m not really his, but it’s not something you suddenly drop into conversation.
“I don’t want to hurt him after all he has done for me. I love him too.”
Ann, 47, says: “I’m sad that Clive is no longer around but I’m best friends with Chloe now.
“I always wondered if we could have made it as a couple. I always believed he was my one true love. When we met up again I was shocked to see him dressed as a woman so obviously us getting together was never going to happen.
“I’m sad about that and not telling the truth about Emily, but I don’t regret it because I wouldn’t have a wonderful daughter.
“Everything’s worked out for the best and we’re all the best of friends. We’re even planning a holiday to Butlins next year and we’ll enter the glamorous grannies competition together!” Clutching her daughter’s hand inside the seaside “girlie-pad” she has carefully furnished with florals and feathers, an emotional Chloe tearfully adds: “Emily says she loves me. I can’t believe how lucky I am.
“This time five years ago I was so unhappy I wanted to die but now everything is working out.
“I’m on the list for a sex change and I’ve found Emily. It’s like becoming a new mum at the age of 52.”