A SINGER from the Lothians has become the first transgender contestant to reach the final stages of a televised UK singing contest.
Jordan Gray, who lives in Musselburgh, is looking forward to her first live performance on BBC 1’s The Voice, but has said it is important people see her as an artist “in her own right”.
The 27-year-old, who came out as a woman two years ago, was not originally picked by the judges for the programme’s final stages, despite impressing them with her version of Bob Dylan’s 1966 hit Just Like A Woman. But when a member of Paloma Faith’s team dropped out, plucky Jordan was given a second chance, and now finds herself nearing the final.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s performance, she said: “It was a couple of weeks’ gap from when I was turned down the first time to getting the call that I was to go back.
“It was an emotional rollercoaster and I didn’t want to get my hopes up too quickly to be heartbroken again. I’m really looking forward to my performance this weekend.
“I always perform the same whether it’s in front of ten people or ten million people.
“I love The Voice, it’s the show for me that has the most integrity and it’s all about creative freedom.”
Jordan, who was brought up in Essex and moved to East Lothian with her mum, Terri, around two years ago, has been working as a musician for ten years.
She told the Evening News she loves Scotland but has never had a chance to perform here.
She said: “I’ve always loved East Lothian, some of my favourite places to go are North Berwick and Roslin Glen.
“It was a great place to go for a vacation.
“I haven’t performed here yet but I am hoping one day I can do a tour of Scotland.”
Speaking of her transgender journey, Jordan added: “Coming out as a woman has just made everything happier and make sense a lot more.
“It’s a wonderful thing, but it is important people see me as an artist in my own right, and not just a woman.”