A NEWPORT teenager, who was encouraged by his grandmother to have the courage to change sex, has paid tribute to her following her death.

Gavin Cueto, 24, was just 14 when he confided in his elderly gran Elaine about his feelings that he wasn't comfortable living as a girl.

At first Mr Cueto's grandmother "didn't understand it was possible to be born in the wrong body", because she'd never heard the term transgender.
However, after her grandson printed off some documents about it, she told him she would support him and even urged him to transition.
After his grandmother's death - aged 87 - Mr Cueto, who was also her carer, has said is determined to carry on his life as a man in her honour.
"My grandmother was the first person I told I wanted to become a man," he said.

"She didn't even know what transgender meant, but she never judged me and just gave me all her support and love on my journey.
"She died recently and to say I am heartbroken is an understatement. To think she won't see my full transition into becoming a man makes me really sad but I know she would be proud of me."

He said that the support of his grandmother gave him the strength and confidence "to become who I really am without being afraid of what others think of me".
He was just 11-years-old when he realised he was in the 'wrong body' and hated being a girl, but didn't understand what was wrong.
“I was horrified watching my body change," he said.

"There was nothing I could do to stop it. I absolutely hated it. I'd just disguise my breasts by wearing big baggy tops."
He first learned about gender dysphoria after watching a character on the TV soap opera, Hollyoaks, who was dealing with the same issues.
"I knew I had to tell someone how I felt and my nana was the person I wanted to confide in," he said.
“She had been on a night out to skittles and I was staying with her. I remember telling her I wanted to be a boy and she turned to me at first and said 'Wouldn't we all? We'd all like to be a man, because they've got a better life than us'
"But then I explained to her what transgender meant and she began to understand."
Gavin has undergone surgery to have his breasts removed and is now waiting for the second part of his transition surgery.
"Nana saw how happy I was after I'd had my top surgery," he said.

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"I can't explain the relief. For the first time I was beginning to feel more like the real me and felt happier with my body.
"I am now waiting for the first part of my bottom surgery and I really can't wait to have it done.
"Nana won't be here to see it but I am more determined that ever to fully transition to becoming a man because of her love.
"I am on my way to becoming the person I was truly born to be - and it is thanks to my nana. I hope wherever she is she is proud of me."