Isis King was a contestant during Cycle 11 of ANTM.

Isis was the first trans woman to compete on America’s Next Top Model and became one of the most visible transgender people on television to date.

Originally from Prince George’s County, Maryland, Isis was assigned male at birth, under the name of Darrell Walls. She has stated that “mentally [and] everything else, [she] was born female.” She has also stated that people might refer to her as transgender or transsexual, but she prefers the phrase “born in the wrong body.”

Isis came out as ‘gay’ in high school, although he felt that the word ‘gay’ was not an accurate representation for his/her orientation. In 2007, King appeared in an MSNBC special, titled “Born In The Wrong Body,” which documented the lives of transgender teens from across the United States. As a “pre-operative” trans woman, Isis began hormone replacement therapy in the summer of 2007 as part of her transitioning process.

Isis hoped to have sex reassignment surgery as soon as possible, so recognizing her strong plea, Tyra Banks arranged for her to have sexual reassignment surgery by Dr. Marci Bowers. According to Isis’ Facebook page, the surgery was conducted on February 27, 2009 and was successful.

Isis has an associate degree from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. In the past, she has worked as a receptionist at a hair salon and as a program assistant for a nonprofit organization.

Isis was living at the Ali Forney Transitional Living Program when she learned about an upcoming photo shoot for Cycle 10 of ANTM. The shoot’s theme was the issue of homeless youth, and homeless women would be used as background models in conjunction with the Reciprocity Foundation, which works to move homeless and high-risk youth into careers in the “creativity economy.” King asked art director, Jay Manuel, whether she could be accepted, as a girl “born in the wrong body,” if she were to audition as a contestant for ANTM. ANTM host and producer Tyra Banks said later that she had her staff search out King to encourage her to audition based on her stellar performance in the photo shoot. She became one of fourteen finalists for Cycle 11 of the competitive reality show. She placed tenth overall.

Isis has appeared in US Weekly (Sept 2008) and was in Seventeen Magazine (Dec 2008/Jan 2009). Isis has already been runway modeling for seven years before participating in America’s Next Top Model. Her experience included competing in the underground ball culture scene.

She has appeared on the Tyra Banks Show twice to discuss her story. She also appeared on Larry King Live on July 25, 2009. Isis is one of a small but growing number of transgender people and characters in film and television, and her inclusion on ANTM has been called an “unprecedented opportunity” by Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. By competing on the show, Isis has brought national and primetime attention to issues of gender transitioning and gender expression. New York magazine has called Isis the cause célèbre of Cycle 11, comparing her transsexualism to previous contestant “issues” featured on the show, such as Cycle 9 contestant Heather Kuzmich’s Asperger syndrome. ANTM executive producer Ken Mok stated that casting her was in support of “redefin[ing] what beauty is,” one of “Tyra’s original missions” for the show.

Due to the intimate nature of ANTM, which films the contestants living together during the several weeks of the competition, GLAAD spokesman Damon Romine noted that “the show deals head-on with the contestants confronting their own phobias. There’s going to be support, and the reverse of that. It opens the door for the other girls and the viewers to get to know Isis and the transgender community.” Some of Isis’ fellow contestants have expressed prejudices in speaking about how her gender-transitioning would be poorly received in their own small communities or in the southern United States. Contestants have referred to Isis pejoratively as a “he/she” and a drag queen. Facets of Isis’ transitioning process have been portrayed in the show, such as her hormone injections and subsequent nausea.

New York magazine noted Isis is one of few transgender models in history to rise to prominence, and that only a handful have reached the higher levels, including Teri Toye, former club kid, Amanda Lepore, and gender-bending club promoter and model André J. Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys New York, told ABC News that the time may be right for a transgender supermodel: “Maybe it’s time for a tranny [sic] to end up on the cover of Vogue.”

Since the show, Isis has done test shots, which were featured on the Tyra Banks Show together with her surgery results.

Source: BuddyTV
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Isis’ Myspace
Source: Isis’ Facebook
Source: All ANTM

Source: ANTM / Jim De Yonker

Source: ANTM / Jim De Yonker

Source: ANTM / Michael Ruiz

Source: ANTM / Nigel Barker

Source: ANTM

Source: ANTM / Russell James

Source: ANTM

Us Weekly / Andrew McLeod / Sept 08

Source: D Austin Photography

Source: D Austin Photography

Source: D Austin Photography

Source: 40 Three Studios

Source: 40 Three Studios

Source: 40 Three Studios

Source: SunArcher Photography

Source: SunArcher Photography

Source: SunArcher Photography

Source: SunArcher Photography

Source: Shon D Photography

Source: Shon D Photography

Source: Shon D Photography

Source: Shon D Photography

Source: Karl Giant

Source: Karl Giant

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

Source: Isis' Myspace

35 Responses to “Isis King”

  1. lisaya Says:

    She looks like Mya (the R&B singer).

  2. izzitme Says:

    Loved her! Haven’t seen her since her change, but I know she is happier and I am happy for her!

  3. bluemood Says:

    Isis is beautiful and I am so glad she had her change! Here’s to lots of love and happiness for Isis’ future.

  4. Gina Says:

    What a beautiful woman. If she hadn’t said anything, I’d never have known she wasn’t born female. I’m so happy for her now that she’s had her surgery. I heard she’s getting married. I really hope she doesn’t give up modeling. I’d love to see how far she takes her career.

  5. boo Says:

    I think she gave up. It’s not that she was embarrassed; it really looked like she kinda gave up.

  6. KriStina Says:

    Я считаю, что ей нельзя было участвовать в этом конкурсе. Что-то непонятно какого пола не может стать топ-моделью по-американски. Ведь потом с неё будут брать пример другие девушки, а подавать такой пример как он/она как-то неправильно….

  7. Melissa Says:

    She’s GORGEOUS!!! LOVE her!!!

  8. ann Says:

    She is so ugly.

  9. Alex Says:

    I thought it was really pitiful how certain girls reacted to her being a transgender. Especially Hannah in the whirlpool pushing her away. Poor Isis. I feel her pain!

    But her pics weren’t all that at all.

    But good for her if this show helped her get her operation.

    But this definitely should stay as a competition for girls, and I can understand some of the other girls frustration having to compete against a guy dressed as a girl, right?

    I mean, after the operation okay, but before? I think at 18 years old I might also have been really mad about this.

    But Isis did make this show VERY INTERESTING!

    So take care Isis and keep it up! (No pun intended!)

    • Aidan Says:

      Your comments are excruciatingly transphobic. There is more to gender than your genitals – it’s part of who you are. It’s in your brain. Her operation didn’t make her a woman – the fact that she identified as one and took the steps to live as one makes her a woman. And the “keep it up” comment is vulgar, not to mention degrading.

    • Parker Says:

      “A guy dressed as a girl”? are you fucking kidding me. Isis was always a girl, even before her surgery. Sex does NOT equal gender.

      • may Says:

        Men can’t be women. EVER. I agree with Alex, women should not be forced to share a space with a man, no matter his feelings. Women are not feelings in a man’s mind, we’re real human beings with our own anatomy and socialization!

      • pointandshoot Says:

        May I respectfully agree in part? If someone is born with male DNA, they are MALE, regardless of whatever they may have added or taken away from their body, or whatever hormones they shoot into it. Not trying to insult anyone, just stating the obvious. BUT-if he wants to live as a woman, or feels more comfortable as a female, that’s his right. It doesn’t bother me one iota, and it wouldn’t bother me to live in a house with a transgender person-I think I would be more curious than anything else. And besides, given how unequally women are treated in most cultures, I think it is incredibly brave for someone to actually choose to live as one, and put up with sexual harrassment, unequal pay, unequal representation in government, etc. 🙂

  10. Ny Says:

    i liked Isis, wish she would have made it a little further. i remember when the makeover episode aired and my boyfriend at the time was like “what they gon give Isis, a fade?” lol

  11. kardaz luv Says:

    Isis, I love the way you look FABULOUS; You’re living life in the fab lane! Step on it girl and achieve your goals! LUV U kisses!

  12. ZelleMarfori Says:

    She’s a TRANSGENDER. I Can’t believe it! O_O

  13. Anya Says:

    Come on, he/she looks like a man. Has a man`s face, man`s body, man`s parenthesis legs! Tyra took him on the show only because of political correctness and tolerance. He doesn`t look as a model at all. Especially that legs… Ugggh

  14. Amanda Says:

    Seriously Anya? She looks more like a woman than Jaslene, Angelea, Nikeysha, Teyona, or Krista. Put together. Isis is awesome, she takes great pictures 😀

  15. kim Says:

    I applaud you miss King for been a prime example of the word: free and are a beautiful woman inside and out.I commend you for showing the world where you been,where you are and where you going. I know the trangender community is proud to call you there sister. I wish you success on your journey with your clothing line,modeling and among the other goals you want to do in your life.xoxox.thumbs up.

  16. Liz Says:

    Isis was back for ANTM All-Stars and I was so bummed out when she got eliminated again. It was amazing to see her so confident after her surgery, she really looked happy. Love Isis!!!!!

  17. rhocurl Says:

    a very beautiful male…#thatisall

  18. Nicole Finn Says:

    Love her and anyone with the guts to follow their own path, especially when it’s laced with incredible hardship. One thing apparent about her vs most other girls in the competition was that she was more mature. She was more certain of herself, and in my opinion tried harder than the other girls. I am a 36 year old woman (born as such) from Manhattan and I admire Isis and think shes a wonderful role model. Congratulations for your success, it is well-deserved and YOU GO GIRL!

  19. sakyibea Says:

    one wouldn’t know if someone doesn’t tell that she was once a male. she is just too beautiful.

  20. Love Lisa D'Amato Says:

    She is amazing in blond image.

  21. Leslie jacas Says:

    Keep up the good work Isis. am so proud of you. I saw you on A.N.T.M and you was the best. Take care

  22. ♥♥♥♥ Says:

    I like isis but when i see her photos from top model i keep thinking…”she has a penis and its not to be mean its just a thought that comes to me

  23. hgrtyrty Says:

    Isis cannot pose and he did not deserve that meaningless surgery to cut off his penis. There are tons of sick people who cannot afford life-saving surgery that die. Shame on you Tyra for doing the devil’s work. If you’re born a certain sex, Oh well, live with it. Also what were you doing at a homeless shelter? Obviously someone in your family didn’t approve. One more thing: don’t ever ever ever compare your struggles to Civil Rights movement. Thank you.

  24. Great job ! amazing woman.Thanks for update the more image !
    Thank you so much !

  25. Mariana Silva Says:


  26. maria1924 Says:


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