The rumors are true: America's Next Top Model Cycle 11 contestant Isis is indeed transgendered. The model confirmed the information that has been circulating the internet in an interview with US Weekly: "My cards were dealt differently."
Isis, who considers herself "a woman who was born physically male," is already being considered a role model. GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) president Neil Giuliano has lauded Isis' participation on the show, citing the impact her appearance will have on the transgender community's visibility.
Screenshot from Isis' appearance on a Cycle 10 episode (she's on the left). Courtesy ReciprocityFoundation.
I'm glad that the LGBT community gets exposure through the show, but it bothers me a bit that Isis was ushered into the competition while previous transgendered contestants were turned away. It's like the producers are ticking off "hot button" contestants (lesbian girls are old news, as are girls with Autism, girls whose parents died in plane crashes, and victims of female genital mutilation).
One of my favorite ANTM-obsessed bloggers, Rich of FourFour, has pointed out that the hypocrisy of Isis' inclusion when, in the past, other transgendered applicants were rejected. He's posted the following clip from The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, in which a model tells how she was disqualified for her transexuality.