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'It's like getting rid of horns on my head': Transgender catwalk model born a man says sex swap op is something she 'just has to do' as she stars at Fashion Week
- Nicole Gibson, 32, grew up as a boy called Glen
- She started hormone replacement therapy two years ago
- She left her pub job to pursue a career on the catwalk
She took part in London Fashion Week show
- On Thursday she will go under the knife to become a fully-fledged woman
Published: 15:32 BST, 17 September 2013 | Updated: 12:03 BST, 18 September 2013
A catwalk model who wowed audiences before London Fashion Week revealed today how she was born a man and is about to undergo a sex swap.
Nicole Gibson, 32, from Horsham, West Sussex, grew up as a boy called Glen and was cruelly tormented by playground bullies.
Nicole came out as a gay male in her teens and began wearing women’s clothing in her 20s before starting hormone replacement therapy two years ago.
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Dream come true: Transgender model Nicole Gibson's catwalk ambitions were realised this week as she took part in a London Fashion Week show
Unbeknown to her mother, Nicole had been paying to see three different psychiatrists. She had also been accepted for NHS funding for a sex change, a procedure which costs between £12,000 and £14,000
After embarking on the course of hormones, Nicole saw her previously masculine body change shape.
Her figure became shapely and womanly, and her breasts grew to a size 32B.
Nicole soon left her pub job to pursue a career on the catwalk.
And this week her modelling dream came to fruition as she stepped out onto the catwalk in a designer dress as part of Catwalk For Change, a fashion show held to challenge the lack of diversity in the industry.
The final part of her transformation will happen on Thursday when Nicole goes under the knife to become a fully-fledged woman.
The model was born as a boy called Glen, right, but started hormone replacement therapy two years ago
Nicole said: 'The fashion show was amazing. They say you have not really made it as a model until you walk along the catwalk in a sheer dress with your nipples showing - and here I was doing it in my first show. Luckily thanks to the hormones I have quite a nice pair now. I didn’t have time to get nervous, I was just so excited.'
Nicole knew she was different from a very young age. While other boys were out playing, she wanted to dress up in her grandmother’s dresses.
'I didn't know what I was feeling but I knew I wasn't the same as everyone else,' she said. 'I used to dress up in dresses and pretend I was Elizabeth Taylor in the Blue Bird - but I told everyone else I was pretending to be a wizard.
'And I might not have ever been on the catwalk before now, but I had plenty practice strutting up and down my living room aged ten to George Michael’s Too Funky.'
Final step: Nicole said she can't wait to have the op to make her sex swap complete
Nicole came out as gay in her teens, but still did not feel 'right' in herself. In her 20s, she began sneaking out in dresses and heels.
But it took until she was 30 to pluck up the courage to find out about becoming a woman - which is when she started taking hormones.
Nicole, who is now brimming with confidence, said she was looking forward to taking the final step towards becoming a woman with her NHS-funded operation.
'I’m starting to get nervous,' she said. 'To me it is just something that I have to do. It is like having two horns on my head that I have to get rid of to become the person that I have always felt I was inside.'
Nicole was spotted by Models of Diversity - an alternative modelling organisation - after she uploaded shots to an online agency.
It hosted its own show on September 6 at upmarket venue Waterlily ahead of London Fashion Week.
Industry experts were so impressed with Nicole she has already been booked to work at the Ideal Home Show in London later this year.