Glamour model Amelia Maltepe, 23, has overcome being bullied and has fought to win her strict, Bangladeshi family's acceptance.
Now she has set her sights on achieving a lifelong dream of winning Miss World - even though she was born male.
Now the business accounting student, who lives with personal trainer boyfriend Charles Dubuc, 27, has her eyes set on the world's most famous beauty pageant.
Amelia, raised as Adesh, said: "To be become a Miss World is one of my biggest dreams. Growing up I always felt that I was trapped in the wrong body and the idea of changing gender was never an option. Now I feel like if I believe in God and myself I can achieve anything I put my mind to."
After moving to Toronto in 2009 to study, Amelia says her eyes were opened to the possibility of transformation.
She said: "It was the first time I realised you could use surgery and medicine to change your birth gender. It was an amazing moment and I felt like I could finally be the person I always was."
After beginning a course of hormones to alter her body, Amelia opted for breast implants two months later. And since spending £6,000 on her breasts and £2,000 on laser hair removal, Amelia has appeared in sexy glamour shoots in the hope of making it in the modelling world.
Amelia - when she was a man as Adesh
This year she plans to enter beauty competitions like her inspiration, Canadian transgender model Jenna Talackova, who last year won a legal battle to be allowed to enter Miss Universe Canada.
Amelia said: "Jenna has been an inspiration and goes to show that in Canada I can be myself."
However, last year Amelia caused controversy in Toronto when she appeared in a sexy photo shoot in local newspaper, the Toronto Sun.
After her birth gender was made public online a petition was set up by some angry readers to bar transexuals from modelling in the paper.
Story continues below the slideshow:
She said: "I was disappointed by the comments about me appearing in the newspaper, it left me really depressed. But thanks to the support of friends I realised it's not my problem, it's theirs. I think I am a beautiful woman and people should respect me for that."
Although she has yet to have full gender reassignment surgery, Amelia lives as a woman with personal trainer boyfriend Charles.
When the couple met, Charles had no idea about her past.
He said: "I didn't realise Amelia was transgender initially but when she told me I wasn't put off. It was more difficult in the beginning when she was still in the early stages of transitioning and wore a wig. However, now it's not an issue for us, I love the person she is.
"I tell people we're a special couple and that my girlfriend used to be a guy. I have introduced her to my family and they are very happy for us. It's great she is coming out as being transgender and pursuing a modelling career. She's an inspiration to others."
However, Amelia's path to becoming the person she always knew she was, wasn't always so easy.
Amelia was raised in a strict Muslim family in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she always felt trapped in a body that didn't belong to her.
She said: "I always knew I felt differently from other boys, but in Bangladesh people don't talk about these kind of things. When I was back home I always tried my mum's clothes on and put her make-up on when she was out.
"I always liked it but I never had the courage to be out because my parents are very religious so I thought they would never ever accept it. I was bullied at school for being feminine - I cried many nights wishing I could be different."
After revealing her surgery to her shocked family they initially stopped contact with her, however, they have since accepted her decision.
Amelia said: "When they saw me for the first time with breasts it must have been very hard for them to understand. But they are my family and they love me no matter what."
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more