A transgender model, who was told by her father that she would 'never be loved' after she came out, has confronted him for the first time since he disowned her
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A transgender model, who was told by her father that she would ‘never be loved’ after she came out, has confronted him for the first time since he disowned her.

Cassandra Cass, 41, who now works as a burlesque dancer, grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, with her dad and three brothers.

At age 16, she came out as transgender to her family – but the announcement was met with a very cold shoulder from her father, who according to Cassandra, claimed she was going to make an ‘ugly woman.’

Cassandra said her dad, Jim, 75, told her she was never going to find love, which resulted in her contemplating suicide.

She eventually packed up her things and moved to Los Angeles, California, to follow her dreams of becoming a dancer and to begin her transition from male to female.

A transgender model, who was told by her father that she would 'never be loved' after she came out, has confronted him for the first time since he disowned her

A transgender model, who was told by her father that she would ‘never be loved’ after she came out, has confronted him for the first time since he disowned her

Cassandra Cass, 41, who now works as a burlesque dancer, grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, with her dad and three brothers

Cassandra Cass, 41, who now works as a burlesque dancer, grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, with her dad and three brothers

At age 16, she came out as transgender to her family - but the announcement was met with a very cold shoulder from her father. She is pictured as a child before her transition

At age 16, she came out as transgender to her family – but the announcement was met with a very cold shoulder from her father. She is pictured as a child before her transition

Cassandra said her dad, Jim (pictured), 75, told her she was never going to find love and that she'd make an 'ugly woman,' which resulted in her contemplating suicide

Cassandra said her dad, Jim (pictured), 75, told her she was never going to find love and that she’d make an ‘ugly woman,’ which resulted in her contemplating suicide

Jim’s reaction sparked a major rift between them and for years, the father-daughter duo had a strained relationship. However, now, they’re back on speaking terms and ready to put the past behind them.

Cassandra and Jim reunited for the first time in years, and they spoke about their problems once and for all – and the emotional moment was captured by Truly.

Jim's reaction sparked a major rift between them and for years, the father-daughter duo had a strained relationship

Jim’s reaction sparked a major rift between them and for years, the father-daughter duo had a strained relationship

‘I haven’t seen my dad for years. My dad and I have an extra complicated relationship,’ the dancer, actress, and model told the outlet. ‘The biggest challenge of being a trans woman starts with my family.’

While speaking to her dad, Cassandra said she ‘forgives him’ for not ‘understanding her’ – which she said ‘comes from growing up a Midwestern man, whose idea of most people who are like me were freaks.’

‘What’s important to me now is family. We have had an amazing story,’ she told her dad during the confrontation.

‘It started off rocky because you didn’t understand. Do you remember at 16 when I came to you, and I told you that I wanted to live my life as a woman, you said, “You will be an ugly woman and no one is ever [going to love you].”‘ 

Reunited: However, now, they're back on speaking terms and ready to put the past behind them. The two met up for the first time in years and spoke about their problems once and for all

Reunited: However, now, they’re back on speaking terms and ready to put the past behind them. The two met up for the first time in years and spoke about their problems once and for all

Cassandra said she 'forgives' her dad for not 'understanding her' - which she said 'comes from growing up a Midwestern man, whose idea of most people who are like me were freaks'

Cassandra said she ‘forgives’ her dad for not ‘understanding her’ – which she said ‘comes from growing up a Midwestern man, whose idea of most people who are like me were freaks’ 

'I haven't seen my dad for years. My dad and I have an extra complicated relationship,' the dancer told Truly. 'The biggest challenge of being a trans woman starts with my family'

'I haven't seen my dad for years. My dad and I have an extra complicated relationship,' the dancer told Truly. 'The biggest challenge of being a trans woman starts with my family'

‘I haven’t seen my dad for years. My dad and I have an extra complicated relationship,’ the dancer told Truly. ‘The biggest challenge of being a trans woman starts with my family’

Jim, who did admit that he ‘wasn’t happy’ about Cassandra’s announcement, said he wasn’t so sure that he said that to her. 

He responded, ‘I don’t know if I said that or not. I don’t know about that one. You can throw that s**t out there but I’m telling you the truth. That don’t sound like how I would conduct myself. I’m just telling the truth.’

‘You did. But I forgive you,’ Cassandra then told him. ‘It comes from growing up a Midwestern man, whose idea of most people who are like me were freaks.

‘You spoke from that place because I was your child and you were afraid for me, I’m sure. It came from a place of ignorance.’

Jim told the camera privately, ‘I don’t remember what I said but I know I wasn’t happy about it, that’s for sure. It took a long time to get to where we’re at today.’

Cassandra said that she and her dad have come ‘full-circle,’ adding that despite her father’s initial reaction, she knows he has ‘always had her back.’

They may be at a good place now, but his lack of support at first made Cassandra contemplate ending her life. 

She recalled: ‘My father was a single father, I wanted him to like me and be proud of me, and he basically told me that that wasn’t gonna happen.

‘At that point I wanted to end what I thought was my suffering, but I distinctly remembered thinking, if I die, they win.

‘So I made a conscious choice at that point, not only would I exist but I would be loud and proud.’

Jim said he 'didn't remember' what he said to Cassandra, who is pictured as a child before her transition, when she came out, but admitted he certainly 'wasn't happy about it'

Jim said he 'didn't remember' what he said to Cassandra, who is pictured as a child before her transition, when she came out, but admitted he certainly 'wasn't happy about it'

Jim said he ‘didn’t remember’ what he said to Cassandra, who is pictured as a child before her transition, when she came out, but admitted he certainly ‘wasn’t happy about it’

Cassandra (pictured before her transition) said that she and her dad have come 'full-circle,' adding that despite her father's initial reaction, she knows he has 'always had her back'

Cassandra (pictured before her transition) said that she and her dad have come ‘full-circle,’ adding that despite her father’s initial reaction, she knows he has ‘always had her back’

Harsh: They may be at a good place now, but his lack of support at first made Cassandra (pictured right after her transition) contemplate ending her life

Cassandra (pictured right after transition) said she 'wanted him to like her and be proud of her,' but when he wasn't, it was hard for her to accept

Harsh: They may be at a good place now, but his lack of support at first made Cassandra (pictured right after her transition) contemplate ending her life

Fresh start: Cassandra eventually packed up her things and moved to Los Angeles, California, to follow her dreams of becoming a dancer and to begin her transition from male to female

Fresh start: Cassandra eventually packed up her things and moved to Los Angeles, California, to follow her dreams of becoming a dancer and to begin her transition from male to female

Her true self: Now, she is 'loud and proud.' She gushed, 'I love me. I love that I've worked for everything I've become'

Her true self: Now, she is ‘loud and proud.’ She gushed, ‘I love me. I love that I’ve worked for everything I’ve become’

Now, she is just that. She gushed, ‘I love me. I love that I’ve worked for everything I’ve become.

‘I’m still here, and I’m still loud and proud, but most of all, I still believe in love and I’m still hoping and praying that it’s right around the corner.

'I still believe in love and I'm still hoping and praying that it's right around the corner,' she concluded. 'I've spent the last 20 years becoming the woman you see before you today'

‘I still believe in love and I’m still hoping and praying that it’s right around the corner,’ she concluded. ‘I’ve spent the last 20 years becoming the woman you see before you today’

‘I’ve spent the last 20 years becoming the woman you see before you today.’

After meeting with her father, Cassandra headed to a local bar to put on a special performance – which was attended by many of her close friends and family.

However, Jim opted not to go – something that left Cassandra ‘very disappointed.’

‘I’m very disappointed that my dad’s not gonna be there. I feel like, as much as he says he’s accepting, then why don’t you show up? It’s not every day that I come back,’ she told the outlet.

When asked why he didn’t show up, he explained, ‘I think it’s good. But … I like to take it easy at night.’

Even without her dad in the audience, Cassandra said she ‘felt so loved’ at the performance.

‘I feel so loved, it was a wonderful experience. It almost brings me to tears,’ she concluded.

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