Part 1, A Puzzled Child.

A house in Hauraki Corner, Takapuna 1962.

Julia is on stage and introduces the cast of a tea party for her soft toys. Something is said that puzzles Julia. For the first time she comes to question her own gender identity.

Interlude. A school playground, Fitzroy, New Plymouth sometime between 1965 & 1967. A brief examination of trying to fit in with the rigid gender roles of the 1960s

Part 2, Information Gained and Understood.

Somewhere in New Plymouth 1969. Julia reads something in a tabloid newspaper that opens her eyes to the possibilities.

New Windsor, Auckland 1972 Julia reads some of Jan Morris’s memoir on her gender affirming surgery.

Interlude. An Auckland high school 1973. Julia makes an abortive attempt to discuss her identity issues with her best friend.

Part 3, Gay Activist, or Is He? Auckland 1975-9.

Sexual awakening has occurred. Julia attempts to fit in as a cisgender heterosexual male, then switches sides and finds it even harder to fit in male gay society.

Interlude.  Albert Park Auckland. After the 1979 “Gay Rights March”, Julia hears something she years later learns is trans erasure. She breaks the 4th wall to editorialise.

Part 4, Disco Nights and Alcohol.  Wellington 1980-89

Underground in the pre-AIDS Wellington gay scene and still firmly determined to fit in as a male, Julia switches codes more times than Sonny Bill Williams. Occasionally ending up as a gay male with a girlfriend.

Interlude. It was towards the end of this era she fell off her garden and ended in a tree.

Part 5. No Sex Please, We’re Bridge Players. Wellington 1983-98

What’s the best way to avoid sex? Join your local bridge club & become a fanatic? Um, no.

Part 6. The World’s Least Kinky Kinkster. Wellington & Auckland 1998-2003

Sorry, no clues can be given.

Part 7. Becoming Healthy. Auckland 2014-2015

Julia quits smoking, starts exercising and loses weight adding 10 years to her life expectancy. The thought of living that extra 10 years as a male stressed her out.

Part 8, Comedian. Auckland 2008, 2013, 2015 to Present.

Raised on British radio comedy of the 1950s & 1960s Julia takes to the stage. Initially as a one off but seriously since 2015.

Part 9. Becoming Julia. Auckland 2015

First attempts to contact local transgender community

Coming out in private

Coming out at work.

Coming out on stage.


When you’ve spoken to one transgender woman you’ve spoken to one transgender woman. Julia tells an anecdote that may just be funny or might be  a warning on trying to generalise her experience to other transgender people.

50 Years Before The Frock is still evolving. This page will be periodically updated to reflect the current version.