When did you get your first tattoo?

At 16. I had ‘TBY’ on my left forearm. This was ‘Team Beverley Yamaha’, my first race team. At 17 I had a heart on my right forearm with a girl’s name under it. She was my first girlfriend. Stupid kids, haha.

What attracts you to tattoos?

I definitely feel I express my emotions through body art. I have body art through my heart’s desire, good or bad emotionally.

Did you notice a difference in how you felt about your body when you became more heavily tattooed?

I felt power and emotional. By this time I was 58 and had a tattoo on my lower right leg which was exactly 41 years since my last one. This coincided with me coming out as a transgendered woman in 2014. My wife of 37 years immediately divorced me and I was disowned by all my family and 90 percent of lifelong friends.

So I bought a pub/showbar in Hull and have spent the last few years expressing my feelings through art and dance, which was not what I would have thought I was capable of.

How did your relationship with your tattoos evolve at this point?

I had lots of roses and designs tattooed all over my body. I suppose looking back now I was rebelling against normality, much to the bemusement of the local licensing officer, haha.

My body art is my past reminding me of good and bad times looking back at me and pushing me on in both my personal and business (dancing) life.

I hope that I can inspire others to do in life what they feel is right, hopefully without upsetting others - very hard to achieve in this society, even now.

Self-expression in my dancing comes through and I now just reflect what my heart feels through this medium.

I must reiterate that for me now to be making my living running a dance troupe and me as lead dancer is so satisfying. My ex wife told me I had no talent or timing to be able to dance, so to see where I am now is really special.

People ask me what drives me to dance as I do, and how do I do it. All I can say is the confidence I feel and empowerment just takes over and I try to express my emotions through it.

If I had to call my style anything it would be freestyle expression as I just let my body feel the music and dance accordingly. I particularly like slow, powerful ballads with a massive finish, because people can feel and see my body art coming out in dance.

Are there any tattoos you regret?

My tattoos inspire me through life’s twists and turns. All my tattoos mean so much to me but one or two have now become very dated so I have a design for a cover-up in my head, which is going to be a tribute to my truck racing career and will involve the union jack flag as well as the chequered flag, lots of roses and foliage, my championship winning truck and my now infamous number ‘37’, which incidentally my son carries on his own race truck around Europe. Who knows, we may one day be reunited.

Which of your tattoos carries the most meaning?

My favourite tattoo is the dagger and skin wound on my right hand for obvious family reasons.

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