Monica Roberts

Dear Isis

Filed By Monica Roberts | September 26, 2008 8:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: African-American, America's Next Top Model, Isis, Monica Roberts, open letter

Hey I know this cycle of America's Next Top model was shot during the summer ts-Isis king eliminated.jpgand the winner has already been determined .

But I still cried and I'm disappointed about seeing Isis eliminated during Wednesday's broadcast. I'm writing this open letter to my sis anyway.

Dear Isis,

I just watched the episode containing your heartbreaking elimination from Cycle 11 of America's Next Top Model, I know you wanted to go much further in the competition than you did and your brothers and sisters in the worldwide transgender community and beyond wanted just as badly to see you win it.

Sis, know that I and the entire transgender community are immensely proud of you.

Through difficult circumstances, catty remarks, borderline inappropriate questions and the ignorance of some of your fellow competitors you handled yourself with class and dignity even with a camera lens pointed at you.

I felt your pain of dealing with a transition in a fishbowl situation. My own transition was done in the middle of a major international airport in which 30,000 passengers a day transited through. I don't know if I would have had the courage to do it with most of the planet and the unblinking eye of a television camera following my every move, But if that's what it would have taken for me to become the Phenomenal Transwoman I am today, I would have done so in a heartbeat and with a smile on my face.

But I recognized that not only did you have the weight of our community's shoulders on you in this competition (and I worried about that), you were struggling with the confidence issues that many transwomen have during the early stages of transitioning from the old gender role to the new one.

I'm 15 years into it and I still have nervous butterflies from time to time when I'm thrust into an unfamiliar situation or meet a relative that only remembers the old me. The article I recently read mentioning you'd only been transitioning for two years confirmed what I'd suspected as I watched the episodes of you in that competition unfold from week to week.

ts-isis king.jpgSis, you have the look and the talent to go all the way. I have no doubt that you will succeed at whatever you choose to do. You also have something else that many people don't have who are trying to enter the fashion industry - a worldwide community of people who love you and wish nothing but success for you.

As time goes on, transition will get easier for you, your confidence will grow as you learn who Isis is, get comfortable with your body and figure out what type of woman you want to project to the world. As you work through that ongoing process, you will eventually get to the point in which you feel as strong, sexy, beautiful and confident as the Egyptian queen you chose to name yourself after. The America's Next Top Model experience will only help speed that inevitable day along.

Isis, you are a wonderful role model for us, and as Tyra said, you are an inspiration to many of us inside and outside this community. Hold your head up high and never forget that we love you.

You are a beautiful classy, young woman both inside and out. Never let anybody tell you you're not.

Sincerely yours,

Monica Roberts


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Monica: Thank you for posting this article.

Isis: Your strength and courage has affected many people, and your being a good role model will show them the way. While you didn't win the competition, you are still a winner to a lot of us.
Good Luck always to you.

i was happy she was there and all but she wasn't that pretty. maybe i'm just used to model pretty and she was like editorial pretty or something. Like if you lined up the girls, it was very which-one-of-these-is-not-like-the-others with her. Not that she was manly or anything. Hell McKey is more of a man than her.

It's great the exposure she got on TV. I hope she continues her work.

She wasn't pretty in the classic sense that some models are, not in person, anyway - but her PHOTOS! God, she can be a fantastic print model, she is VERY photogenic. I too, was inspired by her class and self-respect. I don't think we've heard the last of her.