Dame Joan Collins: I went through a potential transgender moment as a teenager

Dame Joan Collins has said she had a “potential transgender moment” in her teens where she experimented with wearing her father’s clothes.

The Hollywood actress, known for starring in the US TV series Dynasty, swapped her mother’s “girdles, suspender belts and slips” for her father’s “corduroy slacks and loose shirt” in what she called a “tomboy stage”.

Writing in her column for the Spectator magazine, Dame Joan said she had changed her mind months later after joining the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) and discovering “the joys of boys”.

Global Gift Gala 2017 – London
Dame Joan Collins has said she went through a ‘potential transgender moment’ when she became a ‘tomboy’ as a teenager (Isabel Infantes/PA)

She said: “Watching a popular dance show on TV alongside a young female person [is that OK?], I referred to a woman [can I say that?] who was performing rather badly as ‘the girl in the pink dress’.

“‘You can’t say that’, the teenager squeaked indignantly. ‘It’s sexist and incorrect’. ‘What should I say?’ I asked. ‘The individual in the pink dress’, she replied. ‘We can’t assume how she identifies’.”

Dame Joan, 85, was born in London and has starred in films such as The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing and Rally Round The Flag, Boys!.

Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2017 – Arrivals – London
Dame Joan said she reverted after attending Rada (Matt Crossick/PA)

She continued: “This reminded me of my own potential transgender moment. At 15 I decided I did not like the idea of becoming a woman and started on a ‘tomboy’ stage. I eschewed my mother’s girdles, suspender belts and slips, and adopted my father’s corduroy slacks and loose shirts.

“I also took to accompanying him to Arsenal games, where I would wave my ratchet furiously. Luckily this all stopped a few months later when I was accepted at Rada and discovered the joy of boys [wait, can I say that?].”