Transgender motor racer Charlie Martin on her mission to compete in Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race
Motor racing driver Charlie Martin is aiming to become the first transgender woman to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours race.
Martin did begin to compete in the Michellin Le Mans Cup at the start of the season but was forced to stop due to lack of funding. However this hasn't deterred the 38-year-old from wanting to take part in the endurance race the cup was founded on.
She said: “I am trying to help create a positive change on society - to inspire other people to live without fear and live with their true selves, to take those steps on their own journey. Working with Stonewall really helps, I hope we can together reach more people.
"I am very proud to be their first sport champion from motor sport. It is a huge opportunity to do good.”
Stonewall is an organisation that campaigns for LGBTQ+ rights across Britain.
Martin feels passionate about working with them, especially after facing her own mental demons.
She explains: “I was suicidal. I had decided I was going to take my own life and even knew how I was going to do it. That was the bleakest moment in my life, the way I rationalised it.”
Reflecting on her transition journey which began at 30, Martin says it was a 'profound' moment when she looked in the mirror and saw what felt like her for the first time.
The transition took more than two years and included facial reconstruction surgery.
She recalled thinking: “The only way forward is to transition. I have to do the scariest thing I can imagine doing or I am never going to know who I am deep down or know true happiness.
"When the person looking back at you in the mirror suddenly feels like you, it is something quite profound."