Philly Trans Model Wins Cover Girl Contest with Suddenly Fem

Port Richmond resident Mercedes DeMarko says the job is her first chance to be an out and proud trans woman in front of the camera.

DeMarko in her first-ever casting test shot.

Philly trans actress/model Mercedes DeMarko just scored a major gig with Suddenly Fem, a fashion and lifestyle catalog that sells clothes and accessories to the cross-dresser and M2F transgender community.

The Port Richmond resident was given the job after applying to a contest the magazine launched in March of 2012 to look for new models. After reviewing her photos, they liked her look so much that they signed her up even when she didn’t have much modeling experience. In an article on the Wall Street Journal site, Suddenly Fem Vice President Tyler DeSouza says she “only needed a little bit of training on body posture and creating a sexy, relaxed presentation. … Mercedes is sweet, sincere, and quite the professional. She is always most interested in making sure that we have the shot … and that is the sign of a great model.”

DeMarko says her first day of shooting was a long one — from 8 in the morning till 9 at night. “I had a wonderful time,” she says, explaining that this was the first job that’s given her the opportunity to portray a transgender person. “In the movies (Bikini Bandits with Corey Feldman) and videos (Outsiders’ “A Perfect Circle“) I’ve been in, people knew I was trans, but I always played a regular woman,” she says. “But working with Tyler and Suddenly Fem gives me a chance to unwind and be me — to be an out and proud trans woman.”

So has this new experience inspired bigger modeling endeavors? “My big goal is to continue with Suddenly Fem and to get back into acting,” she says. “Both jobs coincide with me being me, and allow me to do what I love.”

You can see DeMarko’s cover debut on next month’s Suddenly Fem catalog, which can be acquired here, and she has a three-day photo shoot scheduled in July for Suddenly Fem’s upcoming summer edition.

Follow G Philly on Twitter | Like G Philly on Facebook | Follow G Philly on Instagram

Have gay news you’d like to share with G Philly? Send tips to