This is why make-up is so important for some transgender women

Trans woman Megan insists that "make-up isn't a mask."

Surviving as a transgender woman in a cisgender world can be exhausting, especially when you have to think about ‘passing’ as a woman.

Proud transgender woman Megan says, for her, wearing make-up is vital in “feeling more feminine” and being recognised by others for who she is.

Growing up, Megan would borrow her sister’s clothes, looking for dresses she could try out to feel more herself.

Now she runs a make-up service with her best friend, a cisgender woman, to help empower other trans women.

Growing up transgender in the 1970s

Megan, 57, says society has drastically changed for trans people thanks to the internet and having access to make-up services specifically for transgender women.

“Back in the 1970s, with no internet I wasn’t aware what trans meant,” she says. “I didn’t know where to turn.

‘There was something, always, at the back of my mind, you hope it goes away but of course, it never does.”

Megan didn’t come out as a “proud and confident transgender woman” until she was in her fifties because she couldn’t find the language or support.

Figuring out she was trans was a constant internal struggle, as she knew “something didn’t quite fit with the gender that [I] was assigned at birth.”

Confidence in being a trans woman

Looking back on these feelings, she said: “I didn’t feel I was 100% male,” but in the 70s strict gender-binary society, Megan “didn’t know where to turn.”

Life now, as an out trans woman, is very different. “The world is a clearer and brighter place,” she says.

Part of finding the courage to come out as trans and be herself has been thanks to wearing make-up.

Make-up is very, very high on the priority list,” she explains.

However, after finding that there’s a huge lack of make-up services catering specifically to trans women, Megan decided to set something up.

Megan proposed to her friend Louise that she should start a make-up service for transgender women.

The pair partnered with Jecca, the creator of gender-inclusive cosmetics ‘Jecca Blac’, to found Make Me a Woman.

It was something Louise “didn’t need to think twice” about.

The service has been life-changing as “if you look good and feel good, then it doesn’t matter what other people say,” says Megan.