Two failed marriages, two suicide attempts and years of trying to conform to a macho culture have taken their toll. 'People think it is just a perversion of the mind, but it's much, much more complicated than that,' says Fion of growing up with a gender identity crisis in a traditional Chinese family. 'People sometimes question why I joined the police when I knew about my condition. But I came from a poor background with a burning desire to succeed. When I left school the police was a very attractive option and an opportunity to excel.' Fion joined the force in 1981, and was soon tipped to be fast-tracked to the rank of inspector. On the surface his private life also seemed to be thriving. He married in the mid-1980s and even considered having children. 'I didn't really want to go through with the first marriage, but I was scared and confused. I wanted to please my family. I thought I could overcome my illness.' Depression struck towards the end of the 1980s. His marriage broke up and he tried to kill himself by taking a drug overdose. His mother forced him to see a psychiatrist, who urged him to 'get over it, stop being so selfish and try to lead a normal life'. It was advice that led to another decade of denial. In 1997, his mother arranged another marriage. 'The second time I knew the marriage was doomed. But I didn't want to disappoint my mother.' Again depression struck and within two years the marriage was over. Fion began attending a sexual identity clinic, which lead to hormone treatment and finally a sex-change operation nine months ago. It was the first time she felt completely comfortable in her own skin. 'I never wanted to hurt two women, to have two divorces. It sounds really selfish, but I am not a bad person.' The irony, says Fion, is that what she and her family had assumed was a mental disorder could be a physical condition. If that is so, Fion believes, it could challenge some local misconceptions about transsexuals and gender crises. Fion suffers from 46XY, 45XO mosaicism, a chromosomal malformation that results in cells which lack the male Y chromosome. Depending on the ratio of these cells to normal cells, their distribution, the timing of the malformation and other factors, the condition can lead to ambiguous genitalia and infertility. Health Department geneticist Ivan Lo Fai-man said: 'It is very complicated and nothing is certain, but we are following up on patients diagnosed with this condition and in the next 10 years we will know more.'