I’m Bea, a pre-op transgender female living in the UK, and I want to make a difference. Over the last few months, the LGBT community has been a real hot topic, and not always in a positive way. Well, I want to try and change this. I’m just one person, and I won’t ever change the world, or everyone’s views, but if I can use my story to inspire others, then that to me is making a difference.
I started life in foster care and was adopted into a loving new home. I was brought up as a boy, although I knew, deep down, I wasn’t in the right body. I battled with my own emotions for years. Four years ago, I reached breaking point where I had to be myself as I could no longer cope. I lost some family, a lot of friends, and even my job!
My point behind saying that is things haven’t been easy. To be honest, that doesn’t touch the sides! My goal is to educate and inspire others, to be accepting of the LGBT community as a whole, and to encourage others to be themselves.
I started modelling about 8 months ago. I have found it difficult but some studios and photographers do accept me. There are good ones out there that accept all, so never fear! After finding an amazing studio, I went on to enter the pageant Miss Transgender UK. I never even considered making the finals but I wanted to give it my best shot. Throughout this pageant, not only did I raise money for an LGBT project, but I decided to start my own support network.
I continued through the pageant doing fundraising events and more modelling. I applied to a few agencies for modelling work but they just didn’t even consider looking at me. I wholeheartedly believe this is due to my gender. Before I started my transition, I never really faced discrimination or fully appreciated how much discrimination was still around. This is something I would love to change. I cannot do this alone though as my voice isn’t loud enough.
I arrived at the pageant with the support of some amazing friends and my very supportive mum and dad. We did a slow catwalk as a group, to show our respects to all those in the community who have lost their lives or taken their own lives, which was very moving. I was then given an MTUK first ladies’ award for being inspirational with all the work I have done.
The pageant itself consisted of three catwalks in three outfits and a gala speech. The winner was chosen not on beauty, not on size, but on votes and on how much charity money we had raised. A true meaning on how to achieve something, with a real meaning, not just on what size you are or how you look.
I won best inspirational outfit, and then, to my surprise I was announced the winner. I am Miss Transgender UK 2017/18. A full write-up and pictures have already been published by Gemma Taylor on the HuffPost, if anyone is interested.
So, since the pageant, more photographers are interested in me, but being jobless, I am struggling to support myself. The joys of being different!
This has not stopped me though. It has just given me more drive, passion, and determination to push harder. My website BeaYourself will be live in a week or so, and I will be setting up my first support groups. I am also trying to get some paid modelling work.
My whole point of this write-up is to show the UK and the world that things are tough for the LGBT community. I want to show people that it IS possible to be yourself, it is possible to achieve your dreams, and I want to lead the Transgender community in the UK to be themselves and stand together for a more accepting country.
The news has been all over this topic for some time now, and it’s time positive stories were sent out.
A year ago I never expected to be a model … I am.
Six months ago I never expected to be in a nationwide pageant … I entered.
A month ago I never expected to make the finals … I did … then I won!
All my life, I never expected to be setting up a support and advice network, or to be aspiring to help others and try to make a difference. Well … I am.
Anything is possible. The struggle is real, but together, we can make it work.