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Miss Belgium candidate born a boy

14:10 25/06/2015

Four years ago, Céline Van Den Bossche (22) was still in a boy's body, and now she is a candidate for the Miss Belgium national beauty pageant. "Yes, I'm transgender," she tells Het Laatste Nieuws. "So what?"

Van Den Bossche, from Moerbeke-Waas, recently graduated as a hairdresser. It is the first time she participates in a beauty contest. But Van Den Bossche must first pass the East Flemish preselection round on 20 September by collecting enough votes by SMS.

News about Van Den Bossche’s past as a boy came out about three months after her registration for the beauty pageant, but she has no problem sharing her experience. "Some people are born with nine toes; I was born a girl in a boy's body. Did I choose this? Is it something I made up? No. It's just a challenge, something I'd rather not have. But I am going to continue to look for the best possible solution."

Since before primary school, Van Den Bossche has felt that she was different from the other boys, and began wearing make-up and carrying a purse to school from a young age. Around age 15, she began a long process of change, involving psychologist appointments and hormone pills. Four years ago, when she was 18, Van Den Bossche underwent a sex change operation and is now officially a young woman.

Through her participation in the Miss Belgium pageant, Van Den Bossche hopes to show the world that it is not unusual to be transgender. "If I can help other boys and girls who have the same problem, it will have been worth it. I do this for them," she told the newspaper.

Written by Robyn Boyle