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Sam Bailey: ‘I dressed as a boy for two years’

By Will Stroude

Sam Bailey has revealed that she went through a prolonged phase of dressing as a boy in her childhood years, and would have considered changing her gender completely.

The former X Factor champ – who was recently dropped from Simon Cowel’s record label Syco after winning the ITV singing competition back in 2013 – made the surprising admission during an appearance on Loose Women yesterday (June 22).

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Bailey appeared on the talk show as a guest panelist, and opened up about her period of gender experimentation during a discussion about nine-year-old Joseph Hughes from Wales, who made headlines this week after it was revealed he would return to school as a female in September.

The 37-year-old told fellow panelists Ruth Langsford, Nadia Sawalha and Jane Moore that she orginally started presenting as a boy so that she could secretly join her local boys football team, in an almost exact echo of 2006 Amanda Bynes comedy film She’s the Man.

“They said, ‘The only way you can play for us is if you cut all your hair off,’ so I went home and got a pair of scissors and cut my hair off,” the former prison officer explained.

“I had curtains and I went out as a boy. I used to climb trees and I didn’t want to do anything girlie. I did this for a long time. I played [football] for two years and they didn’t know, no one knew I was a boy.

“I had to wait until everybody had gone and then I had to go in and get changed afterwards. I was top scorer for the club!”

She added: “My mum wrote into the school and said, ‘She doesn’t want to play netball, she wants to be a professional footballer’. My mum was really supportive.”

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Asked if she ever thought she might be transgender, Bailey explained that she would have considered changing her gender at the time had she been given the opportunity, but that it was “just a phase” for her.

“If somebody had said to me at nine, ten, ‘You have an opportunity to be a boy’, that state of mind I was in, I would have said, ‘Yeah, go on’.

“It was nothing to do with sexuality, it was nothing to do with fancying girls or anything like that, it was just that I wanted to dress like a boy.

“I know so many people that were tomboys, I just didn’t want to be a girl. It was a phase for me, it was a phase.”

“I hadn’t gone through puberty until I was sixteen, seventeen. I didn’t start forming until then, so this boy that is nine years old, it might be going on for a long time, his mother is respecting that but my concern is when he starts to hit puberty, things will change, his mindset will change, kids have phases.”

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