Kellie Maloney
Kellie Maloney says she isn't a fan of labelsIBTimes UK

Like her fellow high-profile transsexual stars Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox, Kellie Maloney is doing her part to raise awareness for the transgender community.

But despite discussing her journey from man to woman in a Channel 5 documentary and regularly addressing crowds as a panellist at events such as the Radio Times Festival in September, the boxing promoter believes transgender people are starved of the help that they need.

Speaking to IBTimes UK's A-List, the 62-year-old says that although society is becoming more accepting of transgender people, it was still very much a "misunderstood condition".

"Some people say it's not a condition, but I refer to it as a condition because I was born like this and it's always been in my head. It's always been something I've had to battle with and I don't think there enough understanding of it," she explains.

Maloney, who steered Lennox Lewis to victory under the name of Frank, completed her transition in April 2015.

Drawing on her personal experience as somebody who transitioned later in life – having been married twice and having three daughters – she adds: "I don't think there is enough support out there to help people and people are just very frightened to come to terms with it and seek their help out. For years I couldn't do it."

She opens up about her transgender issues and the emotional journey to becoming a woman in her new book, Frankly Kellie, which she says helped her finally lay her past ghosts to rest.

"It was just to record everything and to show people what a transsexual goes through to get to the point where they find themselves in complete happiness," she explains.

A battle within

After years of living a façade, she reveals that a reality check came in the form of a suicide attempt in December 2012.

Kellie Maloney interviewIBTimes UK

"I tried to battle it all the way and then when I started living as Kellie, I was still living part the time as Frank, trying to combine the two. Hoping that would be the answer, but I found it wasn't," she explains.

"I think that was the reality check I needed. I was so low in that point in my life that the only escape that I could see was to take myself out of this world."

Even after announcing that she was living as a woman in the summer of 2014, it took a stint in Celebrity Big Brother in August of that year for her to finally let Frank go.

"As much as I was such a horrible person in there [CBB], I think in there I buried what was left of Frank and I found the real me and came out much stronger. I went in there a weak wreck and –not knowing what to expect or what to do – but I came out very strong. The Celebrity Big Brother house was like rehab to me."

Clash with Ukip

Her brief foray into British politics would not be so successful. Having worked with Ukip in 2004, she teamed up with Nigel Farage once again during the 2015 general election campaign. But her relationship with the party quickly soured after the leader unveiled his "Christian manifesto" which "opposed same-sex marriage legislation because it impinged upon the beliefs of millions of people of faith".

"I felt that any platform was a good platform to talk on of you can help educate just one person I think you have done your job," Maloney laments.

"I must admit I changed my views on Ukip when Farage brought that stupid policy – his Christian manifesto – which gave people the rights if they didn't want to serve gay couples or they didn't want to marry same sex couples and I think that was dividing people.

"At the end of the day, we are all human beings and we all have to respect each other and get on with our lives I think."

While she is pleased her story has been able to help people in similar positions, she admits she would have not chosen such public outing and resents the fact that she now lives in a "goldfish bowl".

Her Channel 5 documentary, No Going Back, famously featured graphic scenes from her gender reassignment surgery and also delved into her complicated family life.

"I think it's time that I took time out for myself and started to discover a lot more about Kellie," she concludes. "Hopefully now I can just get on with my life. I'm not sure it's going to be a peaceful life."