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How Shay Neary Made History as a Plus Size Trans Model

Shay Neary made history as a plus size trans model.

“I’ve come a really long way for someone who’s from a bumble town in Pennsylvania. I’m known as a plus size model, I’m a trans advocate, work an executive level job,” she explained. “I haven’t gotten where I’ve gotten by not being so honest. I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten by being as genuine as possible.”

Neary made history in 2016 as the first plus size trans model to land a major fashion campaign.  

“I wasn’t always the nicest trans woman within my own community. A lot of times I judged people who weren’t passable or I judged people who didn’t fit into the gender classification,” she explained. “I couldn’t relate to how my crossdresser friend could feel comfortable in women’s clothing but go out as a man.”

Now she says the makeup, hair, and outfits aren’t what make someone a woman.

Neary started transitioning with drag, which gave her an opportunity to get to know herself. She said transgender and cisgender women frequently fall into the same pit falls of feeling that they need to change different parts of themselves in order to be more beautiful.

“I don’t think that trans people get to see enough people who don’t look perfect,” she stated. “we’re so invested in perfect trans imagery.”

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