In 70s-80s, when Tracey Norman was on top of her career, it was not a right time to speak about the transgender issues, the society was not ready for it and Tracey had to hide being trans. She enjoyed success as the face of Clairol and became the second black Vogue covergirl. And all the time she lived in fear that her gender identity will be discover.
“In my hometown of Newark, NJ, there was a lot of negativity towards transgender people, and back then they weren’t using the word transgender,” Norman – who Laverne Cox and Janet Mock cite as a role model – told POPSUGAR. “They were using more negative, hateful words. It was on the law books that if a transgender was in public, they could be arrested.”
Unfortunately, her greatest fears were realised when Norman was publicly outed during a photo shoot. This led to Norman’s career being terminated, with the fashion industry shunning her for decades. Now, however, Clairol has welcomed her back into the spotlight and in front of the camera.
Last month the brand announced the 63-year-old as the face of its new “Colour As Real As You Are” campaign. In a video for the campaign, Norman states: “Back in the 70s it was a different world for transgender women.I had to hide my truth. It’s good to be back and it’s really good to be me.” I was shocked [when they called]. I was overwhelmed with the fact that they read my story and were quite accepting of me, to the point that they wanted me to come back and work for them,” Norman told POPSUGAR. “Today is a lot more relaxing for the transgender community,” she added. “Doors are opening, and it’s just easier for me to [speak] with you and for me to be accepted for my ability and my accomplishments and not be ridiculed for what they called me back in the day.”