Teryl-Lynn Foxx

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Interviews

Teryl-Lynn Foxx

Miss Gay Lousiana, Miss Clique USA, Liaison to the Governors Office, & an Ebony Princess 

Around the age of 22 Mr. Terry Sanders made the decision to become  Miss Teryl-Lynn Fox. When I asked when she first had thoughts of becoming a woman I was shocked to find out that it was not until she was about 20. She said, “I always did girly things but never dreamed of becoming a girl early in life.”

After graduating college Teryl taught history and civics to high school students for two years. “Although they called me Mr. Sanders, many of the students thought I was a lesbian woman living as a man,” she said. If only they could see you now Teryl, “butch” was never in your vocabulary.

With fear’s that her transition would create too much drama for her and her family with the school’s administration, Teryl choose to leave teaching and went back to school to become an RN. As valedictorian of her class Teryl was shaken when she could not get a job, being passed over by others who finished behind her in class standing. Discrimination? You do the math.

At this point she pursued work in clubs as a female impersonator featuring Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Billy Holiday and Eartha Kit as her trademarks. A fashion show coordinator for Saks Fifth Avenue spotted Teryl on stage and arranged for an audition, which began a three-year stint as a runway model. It wasn’t until she appeared at the Canadian Miss show as the featured model that her parents saw her for the first time on stage.  It was then that began to understand who Teryl was.

“My parents always supported me,” she said, “but never really understood  transgender – they were clueless. The next morning my mom said over breakfast that if she had not given birth to me as her son she would certainly have thought I was someone’s beautiful daughter… and I cried. It was then that my mom understood where my life was going, and began to support it as she saw me become more and more productive in a positive way.”

It wasn’t long before Teryl was to compete in her first pageant, placing second in the Miss Louisiana pageant. She quickly returned the following year to win Miss Louisiana, as well as Miss Mississippi and Miss Continental Tennessee. She also placed top five in Miss Gay USA – placing first in the interview segment, and top ten in the Miss Continental National pageant.

“Not top five?” I inquired. “I was doing really well, but this was right after my breast implants, and they were hard to control. During the talent portion of the Continental competition they just popped out, so I lost points,” she said. Hmm, one would thin you’d get points for that.

So how did the runway change from modeling to pageantry? “Coming from the runway I had to learn to walk for the pageants, I was too “real” girl for them, they wanted the “drag” walk” (chuckle).

Today Teryl is very involved in New Orleans Mardi Gras each year. As one of the most respected TG girls in town she was selected to represent the transgender community for the Planning Board of Louisiana. She works as a liaison between the governors office in Baton Rouge and the GLBT community, giving reports on HIV and other community concerns. She has attended several meetings in the state’s capital.

As Miss Clique Magazine USA, Teryl-Lynn traveled the country and her platform was to educate the public about the transgender community. Currently she works during the day for an events company doing administration, planning and decorating. This past Easter in New Orleans Teryl-Lynn led the parade in a horse drawn carriage as the honorary Grand Marshall.

Teryl-Lynn Foxx

You can still see Teryl-Lynn perform on Wednesday nights in New Orleans at the OZ, and occasionally at other venues as well.

I asked Teryl-Lynn what she learned from transitioning. “One has to take their time – don’t rush the process, physically, emotionally, or mentally — you must evolve into womanhood”.

Her only regret she says was that “I did not tell my parents sooner”.

I have known Teryl-Lynn for over 10 years and she gets more beautiful everyday. Her inner beauty comes from her compassion for others and a secure knowledge of who she is as a person.

On beauty she noted that “God has blessed each one of us with some form of beauty, so if you can focus on the beauty within yourself the road gets easier”.

(PUBLISHED in Transgender Community News 2002)

 

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About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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