Former Cycle 11 America’s Next Top Model contestant Isis King visited The Tyra Banks Show yesterday and was surprised with news that Tyra will help her get her long-awaited sex reassignment surgery.
Isis, the first transgender contestant to ever appear on ANTM, was originally scouted for the show when she appeared in the background of an ANTM photo at a homeless shelter (where she was living at the time). She won a spot on the current cycle of ANTM, but was ultimately eliminated in the fourth week.
On Banks, Isis talked about growing up feeling like she was born in the wrong body, and how getting sex reassignment surgery has been cost prohibitive.
Below is a short clip of Isis on The Tyra Banks Show:
Her mother, Sharray (who is a ringer for rapper Eve) appeared on the show with Isis, and talked about watching her transition into being a woman, as well as her own process of coming to accept her daughter.
Of course, it wasn’t all smiles and rainbows. Isis talked about her challenging experience on ANTM, including life with her fellow contestants. One of those contestants, Clark, then joined them on stage and was questioned by Tyra herself about the disparaging remarks (including calling Isis a “he-she”) she had made about Isis throughout the competition.
Clark said she”loved” Isis but disagreed with her “choices,” and then Tyra and Isis spent the remainder of the show explaining to Clark why her comments were ignorant and hurtful. Clark used the standard “I’m from the south” line of defense, which quickly morphed into the “I’m a Southern Baptist” line of defense, which then led her to say that Isis claiming to be transgender “was a slap in the face to me… because it’s kind of like saying God made a mistake…”
Tyra asked her if she felt the same way about gay and lesbian people, and Clark said she didn’t because “that’s just how they are.” Tyra then ran the footage of Clark and fellow contestant Elina kissing in a hot tub at the Top Model house.
Elina and Clark
Clark tried, with little success, to explain the kiss away as a “joke” and a “dare,” and Tyra closed the segment by advising Clark to open her mind.
As fun as it was to watch Clark get a long overdue spanking from Tyra for being a bigoted jerk, the high point of the show was when Tyra introduced Isis to Dr. Marcie Bowers, a leading sex reassignment surgeon best known for her show Sex Change Hospital (WEtv). Bowers offered to evaluate Isis and perform the operation, and, according to TVGuide.com, Banks and Bowers will split the cost of the surgery. Isis was ecstatic and grateful, and tearfully told them, “[I feel] like I’m about to wake up.”
Who’s willing to bet that we’ll soon be seeing Isis on a very special episode of Sex Change Hospital?
Tomorrow, the topic on The Tyra Banks Show will be gay marriage, and for those of you still interested (even though Isis and Elina have been sent home) the ANTM season finale is airs tonight at 8/7 central.