Gloucestershire's first trans police officer on 'double life' she led before being outed at work

  • Watch Verity Wishart's report.

The first openly transgender officer in Gloucestershire Police says she hopes to inspire others in the industry.

Bee Bailey was "outed" in the force as transgender in 2008 and since then has dedicated her efforts to making policing more accessible worldwide.

When she joined the police in 2000, she said she was afraid to reveal her true identity.

"I was terrified, absolutely terrified," she said.

Ms Bailey added: "The best way to describe where I was is, I got my letter in 1999 to say you're successful, you're in the police and then I realised to survive I would have to live a complete double life."

When Bee Bailey joined the police in 2000 she was afraid to reveal her true identity.

She told ITV West Country hiding the fact she was transgender took its toll.

"I would come into work feeling physically sick, physically sick that if something was slightly amiss in the station, if someone was in a dark suit, that the internal investigations or professional standards had found out about my secret and that was it, I was going to be dismissed," she said.

Bee was "outed" unexpectedly in 2008.

"I suppose at that point the world imploded on me," Ms Bailey said. "I realised two distinct things: one, I couldn't put it back in a box and two, the distinct thing, it hurt."

Ms Bailey decided to return to policing as her true self and now travels around the world advising police forces on how to help the trans and LGBTQ+ communities feel more welcome.

She added: "I have a voice, others have a voice. It is not just one person, it is not just myself, it is a team effort. We have the opportunity to talk to chief officers, chief officers to sit, learn, listen and changes happen."

As a tribute to her pioneering for the trans community, Ms Bailey's uniform is now on display at the Museum of Gloucester.

Bee Bailey's uniform is now on display at the Museum of Gloucester.

Ms Bailey said she's "chuffed" to be featured as part of the Buttons, Badges and Blazers exhibition.

She added: "It's a uniform that has had a lot of adventures and excitement and some historical moments. To be given the opportunity by the Museum of Gloucester to share some of those stories I am really, really proud."

The exhibition has been curated from the city's costume collection of more than 4,500 items, not previously on display to the public.

Museum Collections Officer, Lizzie Johansson-Hartley said: "Bee's uniform really tells a great story about how as times have changed, how attitudes are changing as well.

"With especially occupational uniforms we've talked a lot about how they haven't changed to reflect modern attitudes. We wanted to share Bee's uniform as a story to show how times are changing and how uniforms can be changed to reflect more modern stories."

Bee travels worldwide advising police forces to make them more accessible to the trans and LGBTQ+ community.

Ms Bailey offered some advice to those who may be facing a similar struggle.

She said: "You have friends, there are people out there, there are support groups. You only have to put in trans or LGBT followed by your local area or town and you will find there's support groups there.

"Slowly, slowly when you're ready. It is a huge leap of faith, there is no denying it, but when you're ready the world is not as scary as sometimes it might be perceived and you can and we can be ourselves."

The exhibition will be on display at the Museum of Gloucester until January 2024.