This season of Britain’s Next Top Model will feature the program’s first transgender contestant.
Talulah-Eve Brown—who won Miss Transgender Birmingham in 2015—has spoken on UK show Lorraine about the difficulties she faced understanding her gender identity as a child and adolescent.
“There was no real education about it when I was growing up – not even about being gay or anything, let alone transgender," she said. “I didn’t understand what I was until I read a story about [transgender reality star] Nadia Almada from Big Brother and thought ‘Oh my god, this is me!’”
“I knew from that moment on, I was the same as her," she continued. "But people at school were never going to understand that, so it was easier for me to come out as gay. That’s what I did, and as I got older I started to experiment, and thought, you know what? I don’t care what people think anymore, I’m just going to be me and be happy.”
Brown says that her family have found it difficult to accept her gender identity—but that Top Model has helped to change their perspective.
“Doing it so publicly [on Next Top Model] has really helped my family accept me because they’re seeing the support from people. My grandma thinks I’m crazy to be honest.”
The 22-year-old says she was initially worried about coming out to the other models on the show.
“The build-up to it, I was so nervous about [telling the other contestants]. I didn’t want to spring it on them whilst I was getting changed, or anything like that if you know what I mean.”
The season premiere of Britain's Next Top Model aired today in Britain.