PULLING pints behind the bar, stunning Nicole Gibson’s slender figure and long blonde hair never fail to get attention from men.
At 6ft and with shapely curves, the barmaid loves the compliments but admits she is still getting used to them.
Because despite her striking good looks, Nicole, 32, was born a BOY and, although now living as a female, is still pre-op transgender.
Born Glen, Nicole — who changed her name last year — was relentlessly bullied as a child and cruelly named “Glenda the bender” by some boys at school.
But now she has had the last laugh, as one of her childhood bullies flirted with her at the bar, unaware who she was.
Nicole, from Horsham, West Sussex, who is due to have the operation to complete her sex change later this year, explains: “No one can believe I’m the same person.
“When I was at school I tried to fit in with the other boys but I was a target for bullies.
Curves … Nicole shows off her feminine figure
“I was working a shift in the local pub last year when I heard a guy behind me say, ‘Who’s that behind the bar? Phwoar! I would’. When I turned round, I realised it was one of the boys who teased me at school.
“I couldn’t resist confronting him so I walked over and told him who I was.
“The look on his face was priceless and it made up for how terrible they made me feel at school. It’s funny that the boy they bullied for being gay is now a 6ft blonde woman they all fancy.”
Nicole changed her name by deed poll last year and is now legally recognised as a woman on her passport and driving licence.
On hormone medication to help her develop breasts since June 2011, she now has a 34B bust and will have a full sex change operation later this year on the NHS.
She says: “When I was referred for treatment I wished I’d done it sooner.
“I couldn’t wait to start taking the hormones and I was shocked at how quickly they worked and I started developing hips, a bum and boobs.
“If I’m honest, I always worried people would be able to tell I was transgender.
“But I’ve been amazed at how well I carry it off and 99 per cent of people I meet have no idea. It is very flattering and has made me realise just how feminine I really am.”
After developing her new curves, a photographer friend was so impressed that he invited her in for a photoshoot.
Smiling through the pain … Nicole would sneak out at night in make-up in her twenties
She says: “I was shocked that he asked me and didn’t think I’d look as womanly in just my underwear. But I loved the pictures and realised I was actually quite sexy.
“People who have seen the photos tell me I could give the Victoria’s Secret Angels a run for their money.”
It is not just her friends who think Nicole has the ability to wow. She attracts the attention of a lot of men.
She says: “I get chatted up a lot but I’m always aware there is a bit of a time limit on things, as I can’t let things get physical — it’s not fair on the guy.
“It’s important to be honest so I don’t want to trick a guy into bed only for him to have a shock when we get there.
“I met an amazing man last year and he knew from very early on about my gender change.
“He was OK with it and said he was shocked with himself that he fell for someone like me, but we decided we didn’t want to take things further until I’d had my operation. We’re still friends but it just didn’t feel right when we couldn’t be a couple in the normal way.”
Now Nicole is counting down the days to her sex change op, where surgeons will remove her penis and create female genitalia, giving her the body she has always dreamed of.
She says: “I can’t wait to have sex as a woman for the first time, and having seen how much interest I get from men it’s something I can’t stop thinking about.
“I’m sure there are some guys out there who wouldn’t mind experimenting, but sex as a man doesn’t feel right to me.
“I enjoy a snog but that’s as far as it goes now. I’m saving myself.”
As a youngster, Nicole could not understand why she was not allowed to wear pretty dresses.
Coming out as gay aged 16, instead of feeling relieved she knew something was still wrong.
Past … Glen aged nine
By 21 she was secretly sneaking out at night wearing heels and make-up.
She says: “At school I was bullied a lot by boys who couldn’t understand why I was different and they used to taunt me about being gay.
“They used to shout ‘Glenda the bender’ and made me feel horrible throughout my education. It was a very hard time for me.”
As she grew older, Nicole’s female urges only got stronger.
She says: “It sounds silly but I used to get jealous when I walked past a building site with my female friends and the guys wolf-whistled at them.
“I wanted for that to be me and for people to find me sexy as a woman, not as a man.
“I had relationships with gay men but it never really felt right.
“I didn’t feel good about myself unless I looked feminine.”
At 25 Nicole began growing her hair and wearing women’s clothes, but she did not approach her doctor about surgery until three years later.
She says: “My friends and family knew I wanted to become a female so no one was shocked when I made the decision.
“My family were supportive and as I’ve always been open with them, nothing has come as a surprise.
“I’m really lucky as my mum’s been brilliant and loves having another girl around.
“My dad’s been great too — he totally accepts me for who I am. He’s so sweet and always panics when he slips up and calls me ‘son’.”
Nicole began intensive counselling in October 2010 before psychologists decided she was emotionally ready to start hormone treatment the following June.
She says: “My GP was amazing and told me she had been wondering when we would have the sex change conversation.
“I was her first transgender patient but I think she knew instinctively that I would never be happy as a man. I had to attend a lot of counselling sessions to make sure I was ready to start the hormone therapy.
“But I already had long blonde hair and a wardrobe full of girl’s clothes so I knew I couldn’t live as anything other than a woman.
“The hormones were amazing. I grew in confidence and my curves helped me pass as a woman even more convincingly.”
When she started work at a local bar Nicole’s colleagues were all amazed she was born a male and she says they agreed she was the most feminine person there.
Nicole adds: “I passed so well that people were actually shocked when I told them.
“I couldn’t believe how well I fitted into life as a woman.
“Then when my old school bullies came into the pub and were leering at me it was the ultimate confidence-booster.
“It serves them right for bullying me as a child and I hope they feel bad for causing me so much stress.”
Now looking forward to the future, Nicole says she has never been happier.
She explains: “I’ll be on the hormone treatment for the rest of my life, and every woman knows that sometimes hormones can make you a bit loopy, but it’s worth it as I feel more like myself every day.
“People not knowing I was born a male is very comforting.
“Now I can’t go anywhere without men staring at me and trying to chat me up.”
Additional reporting: GERALDINE McKELVIE