A TRANSSEXUAL who says she was sacked from her factory job for wearing too much make-up before being rejected by the boss of a cosmetic shop has spoken of her struggle to find work.
Pammy Rose, who hit the headlines when she reached the final of a beauty contest without organisers realising she had been born a boy, says she has applied for hundreds of jobs - but no one wants to employ her.
The 22-year-old, from Seaham, who was born Paul Witten, has now been left with anxiety due to her negative experiences of trying to find a job.
She said: “I tell people I am transgender, as I am not going to hide who I really am.
“I have tried so hard to get a job, but I feel like I am being discriminated against because people do not see me as a woman.
“When I went for an interview at a beauty shop the man interviewing me said he liked me and could see me working there.
I have been trying to get a job for years now. I have sent out so many CVs, but nobody replies to me. I know it is because I am transgender.Pammy Rose
“When I told him I was transgender his face dropped and I didn’t hear from him again.
“I have applied to work in other shops where I live, but I never hear anything back. I know it is because I am transgender.
“I have been trying to get a job for years now. I have sent out so many CVs, but nobody replies to me.”
Pammy first told her mum, Julie, 49, that she did not want to be in her male body at the age of just four.
As a young boy, Pammy would dance and play with Barbie dolls, and hated the idea of mud or football.
Pammy, who has an older sister Kayleigh, 29, said: “When I was younger I was very feminine.
“I would wear heels and run around the house with a T-shirt on my head pretending it was hair.
“I would tell my mam ‘I’m a girl and I don’t belong in this body’.
“I think she thought I was just going to be gay.”
During second school Pammy was singled out and targeted by bullies.
She said: “They would call me all sorts of names. I was threatened and humiliated so much that I was scared to leave the house.
“I would never say anything back. I felt like a freak, as nobody understood me.”
But at the age of 14, Pammy decided to embrace who she really was.
She started growing and bleaching her hair, wearing make-up all the time and wearing the girls’ uniform instead of the boys’.
Pammy said: “I would constantly be upset and tell my mum I was trapped in the wrong body.
“Once I came out and told everyone I was a woman, everything became a lot easier.”
Over the next three years Pammy travelled with her mum and step-dad Ray to London and later Leeds for monthly meetings with psychologists and doctors.
A joke about her looking like Pamela Anderson soon led to her officially changing her name, and at the age of 18 she became Pammy Rose.
The following year, at the age of 19, she started taking hormones.
In spring 2013, when she was 20, she was entered into a local beauty contest - The Face of Sunderland - by a friend, and made it to the final without the organisers realising she was transgender.
Pammy said: “Until I told them in my interview, the organisers said they didn’t even know I was transgender.
“I felt like I had to tell them because I really wanted to promote different people entering the competition.”
After countless rejections, Pammy finally got a job working in a food factory in January 2014.
She said: “In the interview I told them I was transgender and needed to wear make-up to feel confident.
“I agreed to tone it down because of hygiene rules and they were fine with it.”
But after 10 months of working there, Pammy was outraged to receive a phone call from the company telling her they were letting her go as she wore too much make up.
She said: “I had toned my make-up down quite a bit, but not wearing any at all is just not an option for me.
“I am unable to feel confident without it. They told me it was unhygienic.
“I was devastated. I felt I was good at it. I couldn’t understand why they had let me go.
“The factory hadn’t mentioned my make-up was a problem prior to this. I was devastated.”
Pammy used her Job Seekers’ Allowance to help her apply for many sales assistant posts and admin jobs, but heard nothing back.
When Pammy was given an interview for the make-up store in August 2014 she was excited at the possibility of being employed.
However, when she was rejected she was diagnosed as depressed by her GP.
She is still on an NHS waiting list for gender reassignment surgery.
She said: “I hope one day I will find a job and an employer who will accept me for being me.”