Walkerburn’s Jai Dará Latto took pain to a whole new level last weekend as she completed her charity walk from her home town to Edinburgh – in four-inch heels.
The transgender beauty queen – who was unceremoniously stripped of her Miss Transgender United UK title by organiser Rachael Bailey for “not being trangender enough” – walked the 32-plus miles in 12-and-a-half hours, despite being in considerable pain.
In doing so, she has raised at least £700 – which will be split between her three chosen charites: the Sahodari foundation (an Indian campaign and support network), the Thai Transgender Alliance (an organisation promoting human rights for transgender people in Thailand), and the Scottish Borders LGBT Equality Forum.
She told The Southern: “The walk itself was really good – and I had loads of people supporting me and walking with me on different sections.
“There were friends and family, people from the charities, and people from Sainsbury’s of Hawick, who sponsored me.
“My dad [Grahame Latto] joined me for the last section from Penicuik.
“It was very heart-warming to know I have all these amazing people supporting me.”
“I was really confident at the start, but as the walk went on, and we got to the section between Eddleston and Leadburn, it became really difficult, with hard terrain.
“The first plasters went on quite quickly and they worked for a while, but near the end, it was like hell on my feet.”
The distance was meant to highlight the lengths that many transgender people have to go through, while the high heels were to show the pain many trans women experience when fitting into a female stereotype.
But it was the two together that led to this particular challenge being incredibly difficult.
Jai said: “In the last 15 minutes, my whole pinkie toe had turned into a big blister.
“It just popped, and it was the most excruciating pain.
“My feet are healing now, slowly, but the blisters are still a little raw.”
Jai added: “I’m not going to be doing another one soon, but it was a good experience and I learned a lot from it.”
The 22-year-old hopes to raise £5,000.
She said: “To raise my goal would be a dream. but anything, no matter how large or small, donated to these causes would be amazing.”
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/jais30milecatwalk