A MALE-BORN security guard has revealed how she is set to fulfil her lifelong dream and has been invited to pound the beat as a WOMAN police officer.
Jamie Leigh Curtis, 29, from South Shields, Tyne & Wear, has been accepted to join her local police force.
Miss Curtis, whose male name was also Jamie Leigh, will be a Police Community Support Officer in the north east, although she does not want to reveal the exact police force.
She was offered the position following a series of interviews at the end of last year.
Miss Curtis said she realised she was female when she was tiny.
“I was given a doll one Christmas,” she said. “It was actually a mistake and was meant for my younger sister, Gemma.
Surprisingly school was fine. Everyone wore the same uniform so I didn’t stand out.
“But I was delighted.
“My aunt Trisha said, ‘I must’ve got muddled up while I was wrapping.
“I can remember cheering.
“I cried when I was forced to swap back.”
She said watching her other sister Joanne plait a Barbie doll’s hair triggered feelings of jealousy in her.
“I remember thinking how I would love to do that,” she said.
“But up north five-year-old boys didn’t play with dollies.
“Only as the years passed I couldn’t resist.
“I started playing with my sisters’ toys, dressing up in their clothes.
“As time went by my family accepted my quirks.
“‘It’s just Jamie,’ they’d chuckle, as I stumbled round the house in high heels.”
She told how she would beg her mother to play with her handbag.
“I loved putting all my stuff in it, pretending I was a proper grown-up lady,” she said. “Surprisingly school was fine. Everyone wore the same uniform so I didn’t stand out.
“I always hung around with the girls, grew my hair as long as teachers would allow.
“The boys didn’t seem to care.
“When I was outside school I wore skirts and painted my nails.
“I looked so feminine that people just assumed I was a girl.”
She said the problems started when she hit puberty.
“As my voice deepened and I started growing facial hair, I felt physically sick,” she said. “I panicked about what was happening to my body.
“It sounds crazy but part of me thought I’d grow breasts and develop hips like all my friends.”
Miss Curtis said she fell into a deep depression. “I became a shadow of my former self,” she said. “At school I stopped talking because I was so ashamed of my masculine voice.
“It was impossible to hide the fact that I’d been born a boy.”
She left school after her GCSEs and started working in a chip shop.
“It wasn’t my dream,” she said. “I’d wile away the hours thinking about what I wanted from life.
“I’d tell my sisters I wanted to become a real woman and then a police officer.
“’I want to help protect people,’ I told her.
“I applied to join the constabulary at 18.
“By then I was on hormones and living as a woman, though I’d kept my name, Jamie Leigh.
“My GP had diagnosed me with gender dysphoria, meaning my gender identity and biological sex didn’t match up.
“Three weeks later I received a letter from the police.
“It said I didn’t have enough experience.
“Determined, I carried on reapplying, year after year.
“But I was rejected every time.
“In the meantime I worked as a security guard, thinking it would help my application.
“I told my family my dream would come true.
“In my early 20s I had a nose job and breast implants, paid for by the NHS.
“At the same time I was saving for sex reassignment surgery, but on my security guard wages it was tough going.
“So I decided to submit my application to join the police force again.
In 2013 I was asked in for an interview.”
She said the interview panel asked her what would make her a good officer.
“I told them I was always fair,” she said. “And that I respect people.
“I told them that I want to make a difference and protect the vulnerable.
“Then I told them I was born male.
“But they weren’t bothered.
“They were far more interested in my experience and my desire to work hard.”
Miss Curtis said in December 2014 she received an email saying she had been awarded a position.
“Now I’m waiting to start training to be a Police Community Support Officer,” she said. “By next year I’ll be a fully qualified, dealing with anti-social behaviour and guarding crime scenes.
“I can’t wait.
“I’m so proud to be representing the transgender community in the police force.
“You read so many horrific stories of children with gender identity issues being bullied and depressed.
“I hope my story shows there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m planning to have my surgery next year.
“My journey hasn’t been easy.
“But it’s shown me, I really am a force to be reckoned with.”