Transgender beauty queen wins £10,000 worth of surgery at first ever pageant

27th Feb 18 | Real Life

Samantha realised she wanted to be a woman when she was just 19.

PA REAL LIFE Samantha Gooding (7) Cropped

A transgender beauty queen, who first announced her desire to be a woman in her parents' kitchen, has revealed how she won £10,000 worth of cosmetic surgery at her first ever pageant.

Now living full-time as Samantha Gooding, 26, the make-up artist, of Southend, Essex, wowed judges of the Miss Transgender UK contest in Brighton in November.

But she will never forget the day when, aged 19, and still living as a boy called Stephen, she told her shocked parents , who she lives with, she wanted to change sex, saying: "Mum just asked me what was up one day in the kitchen.

"I replied, 'I don't want to be a boy anymore.

"I guess, I blurted it out, as I was concerned about how they would react.

"But, immediately, they sat me down and we talked about it. They were shocked, of course, but they have been incredibly supportive - saying that as long as I'm happy and know what I'm doing, then they'll be happy."

Samantha as Stephen (Collect/PA Real Life)
Samantha as Stephen (Collect/PA Real Life)

Living and working full-time as a woman since June 2016, Samantha has been referred by her GP to London's Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust - the interim provider of the Gender Identity Clinic.

While she is yet to start hormone treatment, she has had counselling - with her parents also attending some sessions.

She continued: "The first thing I did was go to my GP. I just said, 'This is who I am and I don’t know what to do about it.' He referred me to a counsellor, who confirmed I am transgender and to Tavistock and Portman, but there's a huge waiting list.

Samantha as Stephen (Collect/PA Real Life)
Samantha as Stephen (Collect/PA Real Life)

"With my previous job, people knew about me being transgender. but it was mainly a social thing, so I wouldn’t dress as a woman at work.

"I got a new job in June 2016, working for a big cosmetics brand in a department store, and decided to take the opportunity to go into it all guns blazing. Since then, I've been living as a woman full time, every single day. It is just my normal now."

And, since finding the courage to join the pageant circuit and competing in the Miss Transgender competition last year, as well as winning plaudits, she has won £10,000 worth of surgery.

Samantha (Collect/PA Real Life)
Samantha (Collect/PA Real Life)

She said: "Being in the pageant has helped my confidence to sky rocket.

"My friend recommended doing pageants when I first came out, but I wasn't ready. Then she suggested it again last year and I agreed.

"I was a finalist, as it was judged on how much money you could raise for the charity Wish Me Well for LGBT teens in Brighton. East Sussex, and I raised just under £1000.

Samantha competed at the Miss Transgender pageant (Collect/PA Real Life)
Samantha competed at the Miss Transgender pageant (Collect/PA Real Life)

"And I won the award for the most inspirational speech and best dressed on the night "

Samantha is now hoping to claim her £10,000 in cosmetic surgery at a five star hospital in Thailand, at the end of next year.

She said: "When I won, I was over the moon.

Samantha won £10,000 worth of surgery (Collect/PA Real Life)
Samantha won £10,000 worth of surgery (Collect/PA Real Life)

"I am in a place now where I would like to consider gender reassignment surgery, too. Not yet, though. It's a huge decision and I want to talk about it really thoroughly with my counsellor first.

"But I'll happily settle for a boob job and having my face tweaked in Thailand first - that alone will change my life.

"I am now with a new cosmetics brand, in a new location and they have been amazing. It's never an issue at work and it's helped me grow in confidence even more."

© Press Association 2018

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