Isis King – Before
She may be regretting her chosen name these days, but Isis King sure isn’t regretting her chosen gender. Born Darrell Walls in PG County, Maryland, Isis was just about as regular a guy and student as you could get – as this photo shows. But from a very early age, there were signs that she was incomplete as a male, and that she wanted to be something different.At first she struggled with social norms. “I wanted to do everything that girls did – play with hair, walk in heels, and play double dutch, but I would get disciplined for it,” she said of her early life. “I learned to keep everything to myself and internalize it.” But later, she grew in confidence and through watching – surprisingly – Jerry Springer, she found her voice, moved to New York, and began transitioning in 2007.
Isis King – After
Runway modelling came naturally to the beautiful and slight King, and after seven years she caught a huge break on America’s Next Top Model. At the time she was penniless, living in the Ali Forney Center in Brooklyn, until a tenth-season photo shoot for ANTM which featured homeless women selected King to feature front and center. From there, Tyra Banks herself tracked her down to become a contestant for season 11, and a star was born. Isis has been a very busy lady since, appearing on the Tyra Banks Show twice, Larry King Live, her own documentary called Strut, and even becoming a model for American Apparel. Then there’s guest spots on The Bold And The Beautiful, Shameless, and on and on. This trailblazing woman is basically unstoppable. We certainly haven’t seen the last of her.