Pageant finalist saves for operation
A Kiwi beauty queen finalist is going online in a bid to raise money for a sex change operation in Thailand.
Transgender teen Amy Brosnahan went to the Human Rights Commission after being denied entry into Battle of the Babes pageant held in Auckland last Saturday.
Organisers later reneged and Brosnahan did well at the event, making it through to the final to be held in May.
Now the 18-year-old is appealing to the public through the fundraising website givealittle.co.nz to help her get gender alignment surgery before her 21st birthday.
Brosnahan wants to be a youth worker and is determined to help others in similar positions to her own.
She says she faced criticism from family members, teachers and fellow pupils at Kelston Boys High School in west Auckland when she emerged as transgender at the age of 15.
"I want to help other transgender youth by listening, being there for them and helping them stay in school instead of dropping out," she says.
Brosnahan will study through a course offered by Youthline and is excited to guide other young people struggling to come out with their identity.
She developed a soccer ball-sized tumour in her stomach as a result of hormonal treatment last year and will begin the 25-week course once she's recovered.
Brosnahan always identified as female while growing up.
"When I was five I walked into the girls' bathrooms at school with all my friends and the teacher pulled me out, telling me to use the boys' one. It was when I was in intermediate that I realised I wasn't into girls - I wanted to be a girl."
She says her family is still struggling to come to terms with her choice of gender tag.
HERE'S AMY DOING HER THING AT THE BATTLE OF THE BABES: