SAMANTHA GRAHAM grew up in Portsmouth with a father in the navy. While working full-time at Michael Scott’s Cake Factory in Midhurst she took an, at the time, radical decision to transition and come out as a woman, having been born into a male body. Over time, Samantha began to give one-to-one support in person and over the ‘phone and run workshops with a Portsmouth-based group for Transgender people called Chrysalis.
“I was born in the wrong body, so life was very confusing… I pretty much kept everyone at a distance which, I can say now, wasn’t the greatest idea…
I did something I don’t think many people would have done… I said right, it’s a different environment [Michael Scott’s Cake Factory] …Two weeks later I came in as Samantha …There were two people there, and we had one boss who was gay, and they ripped him to shreds and I thought – what are they going to do to me?
They came over and said ‘That was brave’”
Samantha is passionate about the work she does for Chrysalis:
“I started doing one-to-ones, mentoring as well, I started doing ‘spec runs’, going out locally somewhere they haven’t been before…for me a spec run was imperative it was that duty of care. I wanted to find somewhere they could talk and feel comfortable.”