LA-based transgender activist, co-star on Vanderpump Rules, Billie shares her moving journey on overcoming shame and bullying to discover self-love.
As we walked through the front doors of Los Angeles hot spot, SUR, we met with Billie Lee whose beauty emonated as she greeted us with warm and welcoming hugs. A sense of calmness immediately came over the room as Billie began to share her story of transitioning.
A simple question. “What does Beautiful but Tough mean to you?” kicked off an emotional and empowering interview of how a young boy from Indiana became the beautiful woman sitting in front of us.
Beautiful but tough means you love yourself no matter what you are.
"No matter what sex, gender, or what you look like physically. Anyone who sticks up for those being bullied and who is on the front line.. that is beautiful to me and that is tough."
For anyone struggling with the idea of fitting in, Billie’s story of overcoming bullying and shame reminds us to take one day at a time. Billie was tired of feeling wrong and wanting to express herself, she made the decision to transition.
“Any transition, with anything in life, is difficult. And you’re vulnerable and it’s like you’re an open wound in a way and I think it takes a long time to heal. I still think I am healing.”
But the transition was just the first step in a new Billie who wanted to be gorgeous, to fit in, and to be accepted. What Billie learned was that beauty was more than skin deep. Beauty was about empowerment.
"Every shape, every color, every sex, it’s everything. I realized that it’s not just about being a beautiful woman and fitting into society. "
It’s about being brave and being tough and that to me is true beauty.
One thing Billie makes clear to us is that no matter who you have become, it is important to acknowledge the full journey.
“I remember being really ashamed of the little boy I used to be and that was a huge part of me not loving myself so I decided to take all these old pictures of me as a boy, I put them down on the ground, I lit candles, and I just poured so much gratitude to the little boy that got me to where I am today.“
The most important thing Billie wants is to pave the way for teens, trans kids, and anyone being bullied.
You are not alone.
Billie continues to be an activist for the Trans community, speaking at events, and most importantly sharing her story on a daily basis. Billie started her blog (http://itsmebillielee.com) with the hope of sharing her story of overcoming obstacles, accepting self, and the idea that it gets better.