Transgender model and actress Daniielle Alexis has fast become Australia’s favourite transgender personality. Her modelling career and her breakout role on the Australian hit drama Wentworth have shot her into the limelight giving her the chance to fulfil two of her dreams – being her true self and becoming an actress.
Born Shayne, Daniielle never felt at home in the body she was born in, with the unmistakably male appearance reflected in the mirror a world apart from how she felt inside.
She first remembers feeling different from the age of 4 but through the innocence of childhood, it wasn’t until high school that her differences became more obvious and more dangerous.
In high school, Shayne’s femininity was an easy target for bullies. Subjected to emotional and physical abuse from those who labelled him as different, Shayne hid his secret, even from his loving mother fearful of letting anyone know the truth, suffering in silence.
It wasn’t until high school was finished and Shayne found the safe and nurturing environment of LGBTQI community that he finally felt like he belonged. It was this community that also pointed him in the direction of the information and doctors he needed to become the person he always knew he was meant to be.
At 20, Daniielle was officially born. Through resilience and a resounding inner strength, as well as the emotional and financial support of her mother and grandfather, Daniielle transitioned from Shayne and underwent sex reassignment surgery. Finally she saw the reflection she’d always imagined staring back at her. She was a woman. She was Daniielle.
Daniielle is proud to be a role model for transgender people and for diversity. The overwhelming support she has received shows that, while Australia has a long way to go to change their attitude and laws to be an inclusive place for transgender people, we are slowly becoming more accepting.
As the first transgender Curve model to be signed by a modelling agency in Australia (Bella Management) and the first trans representative for an Australian automotive company as a Friend of Holden, Daniielle is blazing a trail for trans people in the public sphere.
With her modelling career going from strength to strength and her acting career on the rise, Daniielle is thrilled to be making waves, advocating for trans rights and self-acceptance. Her next hope is that major fashion retailers and department stores start to recognise the place trans people have in the world and to embrace their beauty.
As a child, Daniielle knew what she wanted. ““I always knew that one day I would be a woman, I would be beautiful and I would be an actress.” Through determination and perseverance she has achieved every goal she has set. Just wait and see what comes next.
JWM acts as Bella Management’s Diversity and Inclusion representative for Daniielle Alexis