Tracey 'Africa' Norman reflects on the start of her legendary modeling career
Something that i think is so interesting and special about. Your story is the number of times throughout history that someone has been outed and lost everything. We don't know their name. History doesn't remember them. Are you surprised how well known. Your story is and has become from the very beginning. I've been shocked about it. And the interest that has grown to wanting to know my story in the beginning. It's been overwhelming but i'm kind of Not getting used to it. But it's still surprises me. I mean i have a long list of reasons for why i think your story is special and why still telling it but i just wonder how do you think about your impact and why it matters. I because of A lot of the girls like me or now in front of the cameras. Like on television and writing singing and modeling. And they've all congratulating me by being the first but to be clear. I never identify with transgender. The term always identified as being a woman. I say yes so. I i i mean i understand the reasons why they are advertising that they're transgender in my generation. I couldn't oh so you're saying that back then you could not use the word but you're not saying that you don't identify as trans now. Is that correct yeah. I don't i identify as trans. Always have done a bite as a lot of being a woman. Oh i see. It was new york mag and The london times and mary cliff south africa That put the word trans and attached it to my name. I i mean. I am publicity for it and the interest that it that it drummed up but i made that very clear in every interview that i never identified as trans but as far as getting interest that it drunk i totally get that allow because i consider you an icon and trans history. And so i've actually never heard that you don't identify as being a part of the trans community. Yeah i mean. I i understand where you're coming from so i mean i don't have the people using it. I'm just saying me personally. I've never identified with the word tran or or being tran. I guess because of the time difference. And and i didn't grow up around gay people. I only had women around me still being shy child. I mimic my so after women. I've watched how they talk converse with each other having wall cavity that you know. I was just enthralled wink. Femininity of of a woman. And that's what i wanted to be. Oh i see so when you were outed. I believe it was was it. One thousand nine hundred eighty nine hundred seventy nine. Yeah it was a time for acid magazi- route so your outed in your professional life so then also transferred over into your personal life as well my in my professional life the date in my personal life not per se because Not my mother was always there. I've been her her oldest daughter since i was born. She always knew that she had a special child. She was mind. Remind me of that. In fact our conversation would either be in the car or we're walking the dog together or meeting at the dinner table laughing and joking. She would just stop and periodically. Tell me her words would be tracy you born before your time and all of those years. I never understood what that meant. Until until i was reached out for my story and when clairol's me to another three year contract then i realized what my mother meant by that because by that time the other trend girl were out in themselves and the reason. Why because that prevented anybody to have a secret hanging over their head. Which i did so that gave someone power over me.