Lennox Lewis (CAN) stands with his Super Heavyweight gold medal alongside Riddick Bowe (USA), Alexander Miroshnichenko (USSR) and Janusz Zarenkiewicz (POL) during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Lewis, the last undisputed world heavyweight champion, turned 50 years old today. (Manny Millan for SI)
New look: She says changing to Kellie was the right moveIn an astonishing emotional interview, she tells how she has felt trapped in the wrong body since she was a child and how she finally made her courageous decision to become a woman.
The twice-married dad of three also reveals the anguish of breaking the bombshell news to his second wife – and the fears of a backlash from the testosterone-fuelled boxing world Frank left behind when he retired last year. But in the end, for Kellie, living as a woman has become a matter of life or death.
“I was born in the wrong body and I have always known I was a woman,” she says, her voice cracking with emotion.
“I can’t keep living in the shadows, that is why I am doing what I am today. Living with the burden any longer would have killed me.”
“What was wrong at birth is now being medically corrected. I have a female brain. I knew I was different from the minute I could compare myself to other children. I wasn’t in the right body. I was jealous of girls.”
Londoner Kellie is now over a year into the transition period as she learns to cope living as a woman – a life she has kept under wraps because of the macho world she moved in.
In the past two years she has secretly undergone hormone therapy, hundreds of hours of hair removal electrolysis, voice coaching and specialist counselling.
NHS guidelines state a transsexual must spend two years as a female before they are permitted to undergo corrective surgery.
“The feeling of wanting to be like and dress like a woman has always been there,” she says. “I consciously made the decision that I wouldn’t dress like a woman but it was a constant urge.
“But I have never been able to tell anyone in boxing,” adds the person who made the careers of British,Commonwealth and European boxing champs, including former world cruiserweight title holder David Haye.
“Can you imagine me walking into a boxing hall dressed as a woman and putting an event on?
“I can imagine what they would scream at me. But if I had been in the theatre or arts world nobody would blink an eye about this transition.”
“It was an act and I was on stage. It allowed me to be outrageous. I knew it wasn’t going to last forever. I can never deny what I have achieved and I look back and I think how I was the only man to manage a British heavyweight champion.
“In the late 1990s I always thought I had a chance with Lennox Lewis to earn enough money to live a comfortable life, to go away and be myself. There was already part of me that was thinking of transitioning. That part of me wanted to do it.”
Kellie insists she has no intention of looking for a relationship in her new life. She says: “At this very moment I am preparing to live the rest of my life as a single person. I have no interest in physical sex with anybody. I have many more issues that I have to deal with and I don’t know what will happen down the road.
“I’ve lived with this all my life and I don’t understand it. Therefore I can’t expect anybody else to understand it,” she adds tearfully.
“But I want to go out there and help others going through this. For now, I am mentally preparing myself for the rest of my life.”
U.K. Sales Banner Jinga Films Steps Into British Distribution Ring With Chris Browne's 'Ghett'a Life'
9:07 PM PST 11/28/2011 by Stuart Kemp
The Jamaican boxing thriller is expected to roll out on a limited release Dec. 2.
LONDON – U.K. sales banner Jinga Films is stepping into the British distribution ring, striking a deal to distributor Chris Browne’s Jamaican boxing thriller Ghett’a Life.
Browne’s movie has true heavyweight backing from former super heavy weight champion boxer Lennox Lewis, who is an associate producer.
Jinga said it plans to roll the movie out on a limited release of 12 U.K. screens from December 2 this year.
It details the story of an aspiring teenage boxer, who joins a gym in a rival community to train for the Olympics, but it’s election year and he soon finds himself confronted by a feared local crime lord.
Despite the violence that ensues, Derrick refuses to give up on his dream until the ignorance of divisiveness give way to the triumph of unity.
“The film gives a fascinating insight into the relationship between politics and crime in Jamaica and has an inspiring against-the-odds story with a positive feel good ending,” said Jinga’s Rosana Coutinho.