A ‘TRANSDADDY’ has landed a place in the final of a prestigious transgender competition after impressing a team of judges.

Ramsbottom-born Michaela James, aged 46, has secured her place in the final of Miss Transgender UK 2016 after taking part in the Cardiff heat on June 4.

The national competition is the biggest transgender beauty pageant in the country and Michaela will be moving onto the final at Leeds Pride event in August.

Michaela, who was born as Michael Ernshaw, lived as a man until coming out two years ago following years of secret cross-dressing since the age of 11.

Michaela, who describes herself as a ‘transdaddy’ to her three boys and has lived in Darwen for the last 15 years, said: “Preparation couldn't have gone any smoother. It was a very surreal yet wonderful experience.

“As most of us [competitors] are friends through social media we were all supportive of one another and it didn't matter who won in the end, we showed a togetherness and belief in each other.

“It was wonderful to finally meet the girls and connect in person. This is what the pageant does, brings people together.

“I did and I didn’t ever imagine landing a place in the final. I didn't go all out in Cardiff, so quietly confident.

“I think if I hit top note at the final I have a good chance, I just need that perfect day where everything slips into place."

She hopes to educate people about living as a transsexual and offer support to other people who may be struggling with gender identity.

Michaela added: “My boys are very proud of me for reaching the final – they want me to win it.

“Technically I'm Miss Transsexual Lancashire which they find amusing or Queen of Darwen.”

Michaela is now concentrating on preparation for the final on August 6 at the Marriott Hotel in Leeds.

She said: “I will keep on putting myself about as a proud voice on behalf of the transsexual community ahead of the final.

“I'm sat on top of my cloud with a huge smile surrounded by the most amazing friends.”