BRITISH boxing manager and promoter, Kellie Maloney, described identifying as transgender as a 'frightening and terrifying journey'.

Ms Maloney, who was formerly known as Frank, spoke at the Safer Poole International Men's Day Conference held at the Lighthouse in Poole on Monday (NOV14).

The event was organised by the Safer Poole Partnership in association with AFC Bournemouth and the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner to raise awareness of gender identity and stereotypes, domestic and sexual abuse, and transgender issues.

Kellie served as the event's headline speaker, where she spoke about the decision to reveal to the public that she was now living as a woman and how this issue has affected others.

She said: "I don't think people understand that this journey is terrifying and frightening but it is something that we don't choose to go through.

"This journey has made me a better person and a more understanding and accepting person. I don't think that people realise that every day, no matter what your sexuality is, your gender or nationality, we are all born as the same."

Other speakers included Martin Daubney, who is the former editor of the lads mag, Loaded, who spoke about porn safeguarding and its role in sexual consent in young people.

Jeff Mostyn, chairman of AFC Bournemouth, officially opened the conference with a short film commissioned especially for the event featuring James McVey from the band, The Vamps.

Keith Best, CEO of Survivors UK, spoke about supporting male victims of rape and sexual abuse. Meanwhile, Mark Brooks, chairman of the cause, Mankind, was joined on stage by domestic abuse survivor, Ian McNichol, who spoke out about the abuse at the hands of his ex-wife.

The final speaker at the event was Colin Pipe, who is acting as the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner on behalf of Martyn Underhill.

Speaking before the conference, he said: "Last year’s event focused on violence against women but it is important to recognise that men can be victims too.

"One in six men will suffer from domestic abuse at some point in their life, with men twice as like to not report the abuse to anyone."