As far back as I can remember, I used to sneak into my mum’s and sister’s rooms to try on their dresses and make-up, it always made me feel so happy. I was always more one of the girls than the boys and when asked if I was gay I would always respond with ‘No, I’m a lesbian’. I grew up and when I hit about 17 years old I knew that I wasn’t happy with who I was and that something needed to change but I wasn’t sure what it was. Not having any Trans celebs or role models, it was never something that crossed my mind. Fast forward another 10 years and I’m in a relationship and have an amazing daughter. I was very unhappy with the way I looked, I wore dark and baggy clothes to hide it. By this point we have lots of Trans role models and I’m watching RuPaul on the regular - eventually it hits me and I realise the reason I'm unhappy is because I see myself as a girl not a boy. This is where my Trans story starts and after a rather messy break-up I decided it’s now or never! I started getting counselling from an LGBT specialist and eventually made the leap to start telling people that I want to transition. This was truly the turning point in my life. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Telling my friends and work colleagues was the easiest, telling my parents and family was much harder and I put it off several times before finally plucking up the courage. After it was done I felt so stupid because none of them even batted an eyelid and completely accepted me. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it was to have everybody around me supporting me. I binned all my old clothes and moved in a new wardrobe. I thought my social transition would be more gradual but I put on a dress one day and I’ve never gone back. I moved from strength to strength utilising YouTube for make-up tutorials and having the best bestie, who was a beauty therapist, on my side. Fast forward again another 3½ years and here I am full-time presenting. HRT for 2½ years seeing some amazing changes. New name chosen, gender changed, and ID to prove it. This is the happiest I have ever been and I am proud of how far I’ve come. I’m so grateful that now we have role models so that others can know that it’s OK and they will be loved and supported. The advice I would give anyone starting this journey is to be kind to yourself. YOU ARE STRONG. YOU ARE AMAZING. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Change takes time and only happens when it’s right for you. There are people around you that will help and a community waiting for you to join them. I will be forever grateful to those around me that supported me and helped me become the woman I am today - Trans woman loud and proud! Skye Leach

Trans Tale by Skye Leach.