One of the latest additions to Foxtel's hit prison drama 'Wentworth' Daniielle Alexis has spoken out about her experience as a trans woman.
"My original name was Shayne and I was born a boy. And I can finally say that name and feel safe that I'm not about to get teased," she said in an interview with Woman's Day.
Daniielle Alexis stars as Dana Malouf in the fifth season of Wentworth, and after the interview with Woman's Day went live, Alexis posted a heartfelt tribute on her Instagram.
"I have lived in silence for over 12 years," she captioned the image, "Not pretending to be somebody else - but frightened to come out with the whole truth."
"Over a year ago I decided to myself that I would have the courage to not only stand up for my LGBT community and transgender rights, but that I would follow my dream to be an actress."
While her mum was supportive and "never tried to change" Alexis, she told Woman's Day that her father took longer to come to terms with her identity.
"He bought me a yellow boy's mountain bike for my fifth birthday. I bawled my eyes out wondering why I was being punished. He got annoyed and thought I was ungrateful, but it was his way of trying to get me thinking like a boy."
As she grew older, Alexis described the isolation she felt from her peers. "When I dressed as a girl and wore makeup, I knew it needed to happen behind closed doors."
Now, starring on one of Australia's biggest dramas, she finished her message on Instagram with an open heart.
"All I have wanted is acceptance and love and whilst I am ready for the haters I've already got the biggest team of lovers behind me. So thank you. I love you and and most of all I love ME."
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