my experience of winning miss trav limburge 1998
i left the uk from a broke family and a abusive relationship i was in a very hurt and dark place i found my self in limburge with my older brother here is a part of my bio i hope it gives you a bit more understanding .
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I guess my story should have been told first. I have asked so many of my girls to produce their story of transition to show our pains, but it has been very difficult for us all to put something so personal in to words. We feel defenceless whilst showing the World how it hurts to wake up and know you are still trapped in your own mind and body not wanting to be reminded by the mirror who the World sees you as. The strength it takes every day to open the door and just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other is crushing.
It makes no difference to me how I look be it good or bad……I feel daily the insecurity of a look that will crush me as I walk past people in the street convinced they know I am trans in just one glance. These feelings remind me every day I am not as I should be. Stuck in the middle of my own gender confused by my own sexuality. I have endured through out my adult life my transition, unable to have GRS (Gender reassignment surgery) due to my heart condition. I have had no choice but to try to accept my self and my body as my own and to try to love my self just the way I am “hard work ” when my inner feelings don’t match my mirror reflection .
I have always known deep down that I am a girl on the inside that was the easy bit. I could feel the maternal instinct ruling my emotions, my love for animals showed every time I had a new baby in form of a new pet I was over joyed and eventually over run with my babies, our home was like small holding. Our bedroom full of rodents and incubators a never ending flow of baby ducks that would appear from under the bed following me in a line.
I couldn’t play as I wanted as a child…..with my sisters Barbie Dolls, they were out of bounds. But I managed to draw on makeup and give them a hair cut in my own small rebellion. My pride
and joy however were a pair of high healed bright red welly’s and of course my mums for bidden blonde hair piece from her top draw these things never failed to amuse me. Even as a child I just couldn’t accept my-self! I am not sure I understood fully as a child that there were so many things that pointed to me being transgendered. But it was not generally realised that this was an actual condition or readily known about, in that period of time, so I can’t place blame on health officials or my parents for missing this.
Throughout my childhood my family could see, as could teachers and other children that ‘I was just not there’ in their words ‘ he’s just not even in the same room’ teachers put this down to my dyslexia my parents I think knew there was something else but we were a big family of 6 children 3 from one Marriage, me from another, my sister from another and the one that brought us all together my little brother.
Even considering everything I could never say I had a bad childhood or that went with-out if anything we were blessed….yearly holidays abroad and a decent education and my love
for my family was absolute, I felt that the bond I have always felt for my mother
was more than a normal bond of son to mother and looking back I feel emotionally
I was bonded to her as a daughter would be. To this day she cannot accept my disposition putting my loneliness as a child down to mistakes that happened when our extended family came together.
For 6 months a closed door or my Brother moving too quickly and I was back in that apartment just for a second terrified again, it did ease in time I desperately wanted to make it right and thought I could by trying to find a girlfriend it worked for a time until I just knew in my heart I was not
attracted to her.
I went out to a night club‘Splash Club’ where there were no gay or straight labels
just people happy together. In the Club they had both Transvestites and Transsexual dancers and entertainers working alongside each other. I was in awe, I saw them like they were Super Models but they were men! I couldn’t believe it, I had to try. I was now just 18 years old and free…… I took the plunge and became a dancer at the Club first as a male then when the opportunity arose as a girl.
I made my move to change my life, my brother was going home to Wales and I said I was staying
alone with my Girlfriend. I ended the relationship and moved in to accommodation with a new best friend he guided me through my transition from boy to girl as an entertainer nobody yet knowing what we were up to the dance coach and group helped me learn to walk in high heels and Nicky the oldest of the dance group taught me to do my makeup nails and hair and like a mother she watched me change. In 3 months I now felt I was ready to take part in a Pageant ‘Miss Limburg Transvestite’.
At the Club I had been given the name Diana after our late Welsh Princess and was provided with 2 wigs, dresses and a bikini. I had lost 2 stone over the 3 months of secret preparation and the time was here to reveal myself and bust out of the secret we had all be hiding.
Looking back I was not even nervous just so exited there was something so new and so real about my feelings whilst looking at my face full of makeup, my nails extended and painted vivid silver and blue. The rush of feelings were joyfully with anticipation like a rebirth I wanted on that stage like nothing before in my life.
We grouped together in the Cafe basement of the Club with a space for all our hair and makeup and outfits. There were 3 rounds:
A casual walk in normal clothes together, then back individually to answer 3 random questions, because I was British they asked me questions on the Royal Family and what I thought Princess Diana’s point ofview would be with regard to Prince Charles marrying Camila. All I could think of to say was I wanted them both to be happy.
Then it was the swimsuit walk. I was so nervous,I had a long hair piece on I am sure nobody knew why they were calling meDiana they probably put it down to me being Welsh. I had a gold bikini and stilettos (I was struggling to walk in) on I had 3 minutes to walk in a figure eight around the stage in front of a club full of people photographing, there were flashes that were blinding, I couldn’t see where I was going just wanted the music to go faster and get off the stage.I was giggling the whole way through finally the music ended and it was time to bring out the final surprise.
For the Gala, Nicky had made me a black ballgown full of black pearls and altered it to fit me perfectly, Nicky had also ordered a Diana style wig…… I put it on and it changed
me in to her doppelganger I could barely get up the stairs to the stage the dress was so big shining in the dark. As I entered on stage I could hear the people gasp at the resemblance and her having passed not that long before made a few emotional.
We lined up along the stage and waited for the mto read out the results, I didn’t realise I had won or really knew what was going on everything was of course was being spoken in Dutch I was nudged by another girl telling me to move up and go forward. I was so happy I just couldn’t speak, just so happy. Little did I know that this was a defining moment that would take over the rest of my life and
define me as a person. I gleefully accepted my flowers and did my last walk around the stage trying not to trip on my gown terrified I would fall off the stage. The dress was so huge and heavy but thankfully I made it safe off the stage and back to the basement still in disbelief at what I had just achieved without any family there to support me, it all seemed to be like a dream.
Over the next few days my best friend Johnny and I talked in earnest and he became my Manager. Johnny showed me there was a lot more to do with the position I had been given, the whole year was filling up with bookings for openings of Clubs, hostessing jobs, bus trips, danceacts and surprise strips.
My new life was taking shape, I was even amascot for the local football team! On a Sunday morning I would sit on theside lines with all their Wives. The fun of that year was never ending andI will never forget it. I was becoming more and more the girl inside thelonger I worked as Diana and less and less like Patrick the boy I was born as.I became stronger and the things that had hurt me so much in my past life feltlike they had not happened to me anymore they had happen to someone else.I was now someone new I was reborn…………I renamed myself Rachael Bailey or Baileyto my friends my new life had started and I found it more and more difficult to stop being Rachael and decided to put an end to the past and go forward for the rest of my life as a girl. I made my way home to the UK as Miss Rachael Bailey pageant Queen lover of her life.
Even though I have never really felt the bonds with my family I know they
are there just at a distance. When I returned home I became a chef and hospitality
Supervisor for Letheby & Christopher working in Leisure and Hospitality at race courses and in
restaurants until 2014. I then had a dream and I pursued it I created Miss Transgender United as a sociable enterprise…..it was such a dream and it has driven me and is now open for trading after 7 months of planning I have 3 Celebrity hosts and 11 judges and 19 events across the country that will be donating 60% net profits to LGBT charities and groups across the country.
I received my final heart operation to fix the palpitations in 2005 at 25 years old by that time the damage was greater but operation was successful in helping me to live another ten years without problems to create my dream. I have however developed heart disease in2015 and recently suffered a heart attack I am now living with this CDH disease and hoping for another ten years god willing.
In my following years on this planet I am making it my life’s work to educate people to see us for what and who we are as trans people. Educate on how best to help the following generations identify and come to terms safely with them selves. Help them with support and medical advice.
Together we can make life so much easier for every young trans teen and hopefully put a stop to
transphobia forever x