|Ayla Holdom served alongside Prince William|
It was one of her first work-related duties after transitioning to female – but she says there have been very few problems being accepted within the team.
The pilot – who is now in a lesbian relationship with wife Wren – told the Mail: “All my RAF colleagues were brilliant.
“I think they were surprised because I was pretty adept at pretending to be a man. I walked macho, I sat macho, I worked out hard and I like a bit of banter.
“But when I came back as a woman there was complete acceptance and empathy. Even old and bold warrant officers who had grown up in the days when people like me would have been taken behind the bike sheds for a kicking, came to congratulate me.
“I can see why someone might think it’s been difficult. Men go to war, women stay at home and mind the children – that’s the traditional military narrative. But being transgender in the RAF has been, in some ways, easier than in civilian life.
“The military has a policy and there are rules and what we do is adhere to them. t keeps things simple. Even this.
“‘I was worried I would have to surrender my flying career but I was wrong, just as my fears about losing the love of my family and friends were unfounded. I was quietly confident I would keep my marriage but I couldn’t know: Wren married a man.”