Entertainment

Meet Pammy Rose, the beauty pageant finalist born a boy

Updated: 2013-05-28
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Pammy Rose ... beauty queen was born lad called Paul
North News
 
WALKING the catwalk towards the judges’ panel, beauty pageant contestant Pammy Rose flicked her long blonde hair and fluttered her eyelashes.

The 20-year-old had already seen off thousands of other girls to make it to the final with five others.
 
But for Pammy, getting so far was a dream come true, as she had a secret that would shock the judges — until she was 15, she was a boy named Paul.
 
It was then that she began living as a girl, and a year later was diagnosed as transgender.
 
 
Pammy Rose as was…five-year-old Paul Witton (left), and teen Paul Witton (right)…’in wrong body’
North News & Pictures
 
She had decided not to reveal her secret to the beauty contest judges to see how far she would get. After reaching the last six, she finally confessed all at the interview stage.
 
She continued to take part, and although she did not win, reaching the final made her finally feel accepted as a girl after years of bullying.
 
Pammy says: “I was thrilled. I never dreamed I’d get that far. I’ve been made to feel like a freak most of my life so to have got as far as I did without the organisers noticing was amazing.
 
"Reaching the final is my way of showing the bullies I’m not weird, I’m just like any other girl, I’m so proud of that.”
 
When she was four, Pammy — who was born Paul Witton — told her mum Julie she didn’t want to be in the body she had.
 
As a teenager, Pammy decided to push past all the anxiety and embrace who she really was.
 
She grew her hair, bleached it blonde and wore a girl’s uniform and make-up to school, where she was bullied by peers.
 
She says: “I was called a tranny, poof and freak. I hung around with girls and my friends stood up for me, but I still felt nobody understood me.”
 
Diagnosed as transgender, Pammy began counselling in readiness for a full sex change.
 
Over the next three years she travelled with her mum and stepdad Ray to London and Leeds for monthly meetings with psychologists and doctors.
 
She began taking hormones to make her voice higher, prevent hair growth and stimulate the development of breasts.
 
By the time she was 19 she had changed her name by deed poll to Pammy Rose, after a female friend told her she looked like Pamela Anderson.
 
Pammy, from Seaham, Co Durham, now says: “After having to go through so much, being accepted in a beauty contest has shown me that it’s all been worth it.
 
“I was nervous when I uploaded my picture on to the Face Of Sunderland contest page as I didn’t know what the reaction would be.
 
“The first few rounds depended on how many likes your photo got, and there were really pretty girls to compete with. But at the end of the first day I had 300 likes — one of the highest scores.”
 
Pammy was through to the next stage with 40 others — and the online support carried on, taking her all the way to the final at the Stadium Of Light in Sunderland in March.
 
It was then that Pammy came clean to organisers. She says: “They were shocked and said they had no idea because of how feminine I look. But they were so sweet and made me feel comfortable and said they were happy for me to carry on.”
 
Despite not winning, Pammy — who doctors have said can have her sex change operation this September — says the best prize for her is acceptance.
 
She says: “It’s changed my life. I’ve had lots of lovely emails and when I read them they make me cry. One man said I’d given him the courage to come out to his family.
 
"I hope I can help people like me stop hiding who they are and to be happy and feel accepted.
 
"Three years ago I would never have entered the competition as I didn’t feel confident enough with all the bullying putting me down.
 
"Now I’ve shown my bullies that other people think I’m a beautiful girl. I’ve never been happier.”
 
SOURCE: thesun.co.uk
 
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