Kellie Maloney - formerly known as the boxing promoter Frank Maloney - has revealed that she only went public about becoming a woman after two newspapers threatened to break the news.
Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Maloney said that one newspaper had promised to publish the story in February before reporters doorstepped several family members six weeks ago.
Maloney gave the story to the Sunday Mirror at the weekend because she knew the issue of gender reassignment would be treated with the appropriate respect.
"I wanted to transition very privately because of my family," said Maloney. "They're going through a lot as well and I wanted them protected.
"Unfortunately, someone exposed me at a group I was going to. I was indoors and one day you get that dreaded knock on the door. It was a journalist – I won't say from which paper.
"Obviously I denied all knowledge of it and they said they were going to run the story on the Sunday so I got my lawyers involved and we had to threaten injunctions. That had been going on in February and we kept it under control.
"Six weeks ago another newspaper turned up at my house, and then they turned up at my daughter's house, they turned up at all members of my family's house.
"I spoke with my lawyer and a couple of people who have been very good to me and I said, 'Look, I'm living in a shadow. I'm living in the dark. I can't go out of my house no more. I'm terrified.'
"I started switching back to Kellie and Frank and my head was getting so confused about it.
"They said: 'We need to find a paper that would be very friendly' and I said I'd only do this as long as I've got control because previously transgender people have been ridiculed in the press and I didn't want that to happen to me and I didn't want that to happen to others."
Maloney, 62, also admitted she would like to return to boxing in the future. She has already undergone hormone therapy, voice coaching, hair removal treatment and counselling.
"I've got all these crusades that I'd like to do, but the most important one is I'd really want to help the transgender community because they've really rallied around me."
- Frank Maloney