It’s been a media rollercoaster for transgender Pammy Rose since she featured in the Echo three weeks ago. Cara Houchen found out how she is dealing with life in the spotlight.
SHE caught the attention of the national media when, as a Sunderland Echo Face Of 2013 finalist, she told of being born a boy – but always knowing she should have been a girl.
Now Pammy Rose has even gained recognition from Mrs outspoken herself – Katie Price.
The busty brunette praised our Pam in her column in The Sun last week saying she “was one of the most impressive people I’ve seen and read about”, adding “I applaud her courage and wish her well”.
Pammy couldn’t hide her excitement when I asked her how she felt about the comments.
“It was beautiful what she said and the fact she took the time to read my story in the first place meant so much,” said Pammy, from Seaham.
“She even tweeted me back when I tweeted to say thanks.
“I’m so happy and excited that somebody I look up to and admire has said those things. It’s the best feedback so far.”
This positive reaction is jut one of many as Pammy has received hundreds of messages from well wishers and, after featuring in The Sun, she has signed a magazine deal with Bella and is currently negotiating TV stardom.
“This Morning have asked me to be a guest and a German TV channel have been in touch about me appearing over there too,” explained Pammy. “It hasn’t sunk in. Since being in the Echo the reaction has been so over whelming.
“I was in shock with how many people got in touch and the reaction has been surprisingly positive.
“I’m so happy I reached out to everybody. I’ve had a lot of people saying that I have given them the courage to come out.”
The 20-year-old, who was born Paul Witten, told readers how she had lived through years of bullying and name calling and as a result she used to hide away in her house.
This year that all changed when she put herself forward for our annual modelling competition and received thousands of votes which saw her get through to the final.
She said: “I didn’t even think I would get to the final but when I did I thought I would just do the catwalk and that would be it.
“Then a few days later everything started happening and now I’ve got loads of things to look forward too.
“Being in The Sun with other celebrities was so exciting. Now I’m looking forward to doing TV, which is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid.
“I did get approached by the Daily Star to go topless, which is something I definitely wouldn’t do, but other than that all the opportunities I’ve been given I’ve taken.
“This has given me the confidence to try new things and I would love to go on Big Brother – that’s something I will be applying for in the future.”
Pammy admits that she was scared about telling her story as she was worried people would make nasty comments about her.
She said: “I was surprised that everyone has been so nice and kind. Everyone around where I live has been so supportive.
“I have had a few negative comments from narrow-minded people who think I did this for the attention and publicity and they also don’t think the operation to change sex should be available on the NHS but I was expecting those reactions.”
One card Pammy is still keeping close to her chest is her love life.
She has been dating someone who she really likes for about seven months and she doesn’t want her story being in the media to affect their relationship.
“He’s younger than me,” explained Pammy. “And this is all new to him – I’ve lived with it my whole life and having to hide behind closed doors. He hasn’t said much about the articles but he’s really nice, supportive, and just a lovely lad.”
She added: “I desperately want a relationship where I can do normal things like go to the cinema and hold hands.
“It doesn’t sound like much to people but to me that would be amazing.”
Pammy was badly bullied at school – but now she says she’s the one who has had the last laugh.
She said: “I forgive them for what they did because we were young but I would like to say look at me now.
“I hope people don’t think I did this just for the fame.
“When I entered the Face Of 2013 I didn’t even think I would get past the first round, never mind make the final.
“It was a way of showing people everyone should be accepted for who they want to be.
“I just hope I’ve inspired people to be brave like me.
“The highlight of these past few weeks is that I feel accepted and that’s all I wanted.”
So what has Pammy got planned for the future?
She said: “I want to be the first transgender to come out of Britain big and make a name for myself.
“This is just the beginning and the next step in this chapter of my life.”