A woman with a beard due to a medical condition is speaking out after internet trolls compared her to the drag queen winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Cheryl Monks was left deeply hurt after three people sent her Facebook messages with pictures of bearded drag act Conchita Wurst, saying : “Did you see yourself on television last night?”
Cheryl, 32, of Clarence Street, Morecambe, said she had decided to speak out to highlight the issues of her condition, polycystic ovary condition (PCOS)
She said: “It hurt me, it was more than a shock. I watch Eurovision every year but I won’t be watching any more.
“I got the messages on my phone the day after from three people, two of whom had blocked me, but it has to be someone I know.
“It was evil, my family are really really angry and my grandmother is disgusted.
“I just wanted to curl up and disappear. This has set me back again. People should judge a person by who they are, not what they look like.
“I don’t like bullies. People who know me know I like singing and karaoke. They need to grow up and get a life, it’s just ignorant and shameful.”
Cheryl, who is nine months in remission from cancer as well as suffering from PCOS, has constantly campaigned for treatment for herself and others whose lives are blighted by the condition.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS include excessive hair, which Cheryl suffers from.
She has to spend £2,000 a year on razors and has excessive hair growth on her face as well as other areas of her body.
She is currently saving the £10,000 needed for laser treatment at a private clinic to remove the excess hair.
Cheryl set up the Inspiration Foundation forum and support group on Facebook, which currently has 7,000 girls and women with PCOS as members.
Bearded drag act Conchita Wurst, who secured Austria’s first Eurovision win in 48 years, pledged to promote tolerance as she received a jubilant welcome home to Vienna on Sunday.
The singer, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, was greeted at the airport by more than 1,000 fans, some wearing painted beards and singing the winning anthem Rise Like a Phoenix.
On the theme of tolerance, Wurst told reporters in the Austrian capital: “This will remain an issue for a long time and I fear I won’t see the end of it in my lifetime.
“It will be my life’s worth and I gladly take it on.
“It was not just a victory for me but a victory for those people who believe in a future that can function without discrimination and is based on tolerance and respect.”
lFor more information and help with PCOS, visit www.verity-pcos.org.uk.