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Billie Lee Announces She’s Quitting Sur In Open Letter After Allegedly Being Bullied For Being Transgender

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Jul. 24 2019, Published 1:14 p.m. ET

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Billie Lee is officially quitting SUR! The Vanderpump Rules star wrote an open letter and revealed some of her castmates were bullying her for being transgender.

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Billie, 35, explained that she had dreams of becoming a talk show host at a young age but was continuously rejected during the time before she transitioned. “I was told by the news director that I was too feminine or ‘too gay’ for such a small market,” she wrote. “I tried everything – shaving my head, wearing suits, even deepening my voice, but I was still denied my dream job. Every time I was forced to be masculine, the suicidal thoughts would follow.”

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“After a few months of drinking my sorrows away, I realized I needed to start over and move to a bigger city where I would be accepted for me. After moving to LA, I immediately started my transition, it was my cocoon phase, and just as it is for a caterpillar, it was a vulnerable time,” she continued.

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Billie said she embarked on a journey as an activist to the transgender community which led her to her “fairy godmother Lisa Vanderpump.” She told fans, “My whole life was working in restaurants so it made sense my TV debut would be in a restaurant.”

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“During my time at SUR, I met some of the most wonderful people, a few in particular that I now call family. They saw me in a way I never saw myself – they saw beauty, light and love. They saw a powerful activist who was unstoppable. These beautiful souls put a mirror in front of me, they showed me how far I’ve come and how far I can go,” she said.

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Despite the positive experience, Billie said, “Some of my coworkers were threatened by my differences, going out of their way to exclude me, one demanding I be fired from the show because he didn’t feel comfortable working with me, his exact words were, ‘I’m not gonna lose all I have worked hard for for something stupid I may say or do to offend her. Are we all supposed to tip toe around her because she’s trans?’”

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She further revealed, “The bullying on and off camera brought my deep insecurities to the surface, this dark black mirror held up high for everyone in public to see and to judge. The reflection of fear and anger led me back to depression and suicidal thoughts. I honestly thought I was finished with this type of bullying after high school and college but once again I found myself 34, depressed, and fantasizing about taking my own life.”

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Billie went on to thank the owners of SUR, as well as Lisa, for supporting her decision to leave. As for what’s next she said, “For now, I am focused on my anti bullying campaign with Regenix as 75% of transgender youth feel unsafe at school and over 40% of LGBTQ+ feel bullied at work. Regenix is giving a percentage of our sales to Equality CA where I sit on the board of advisors as we fight to protect trans rights.”

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“If you ask me, my journey has only just begun,” the former SURver ended her open letter. “You are never too old or ‘too gay’ and it’s never too late to start over.”

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