Reality TV star Caitlyn Jennerhas been linked to stunning blonde actress Candis Cayne.
The pair were seen enjoying various dates around New York, amid reports they have "amazing chemistry".
But who is the sexy 44-year-old who appears to have captioned Cait's attention?
Candis was born Brendan McDaniel in Maui, Hawaii in 1971. She has a twin brother called Dylan.
She grew up living on the campus of Waldorf school where her parents were teachers.
After graduating from Maui’s Baldwin High School in 1989 she headed to LA to train as a dancer.
In the early 90s Candis headed to the Big Apple, where she started to make a name for herself as a choreographer and drag performer.
Three years after she arrived she discovered the term transsexual and realized it was how she felt about herself.
At this time she was already performing as Candis Cayne in NY bar Boy Bar, as well as various other drag events.
In 1995 she starred in the documentary Wigstock: The Movie, after participating in the festival a number of times.
From there she appeared in a couple of films and music videos – she starred in the music video for RuPaul's A Little Bit of Love.
She later went on to be a judge on RuPaul's Drag U.
The pretty blonde previously said she first realized she was different when she was just six.
She said: "Growing up, me and my brother we were kind of exact opposites," she said. "We were completely yin and yang. He was more rough and tumble, and I just wanted to play with my girlfriends."
Candis began her transition process in around 1996 when she was in her early 20s.
Speaking of telling her parents, she revealed: "When I told my parents that I was starting my transition, my Dad said, 'Well that makes so much more sense 'cause I never saw you any other way and now it totally works,'"
"It was unbelievable. The second I told them they flew to New York and wanted to make sure I was OK. And they found out I was happier."
Dirty Sexy Money
Candis came to the general public’s attention when she won a role in ABC prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money in 2007.
She played Carmelita Rainer – a trans woman having an affair with married New York Attorney General Patrick Darling.
It was huge role for her which made her the first transgender actress to play a recurring transgender character in primetime.
She later played a transgender character in season six of Nip/Tuck.
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Candis Cayne is every bit the woman Caitlyn Jenner hopes to become.
Beautiful, glamorous, sassy and confident, Candis is helping her close friend through the challenging gender transition.
The 44-year-old transgender actress is rarely away from Caitlyn's side on reality show 'I am Cait' and rumors abound that the two are dating.
But while Caitlyn, 65, turns to her new galpal for much needed advice and support as she settles in to life as a woman, blonde Candis has her own back story of overcoming adversity.
Daily Mail Online can reveal that as a young boy living on the paradise island of Maui in Hawaii, Candis was forced to endure 'traumatic' bullying as he struggled to find his own identity and had to cope with the emotional turmoil of always feeling 'different'.
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Hands on: Beautiful and confident, Candis Cayne is helping her close friend Caitlyn Jenner through the challenging gender transition. But 44-year-old Candis has her own story to tell. She overcame an adolescence plagued by bullying for being 'effeminate'
As a boy growing up on the island of Maui, Candis, then Brendan McDanniel, was taunted with mean 'gay' jibes from as young as age 11. Brendan is pictured during his time at the private Waldorf school
It was a love of acting and performing on stage at Baldwin High School in Maui that helped Candis flourish, developing into a confident teenager
Candis' fraternal twin Dylan was the athlete in the family. Dylan eventually won a football scholarship to college
Daily Mail Online can reveal how Candis was:
• Targeted by school bullies for 'being the most feminine person in class' and taunted with mean 'gay' jibes from as young as age 11
• Held back a year in 8th grade because his parents were worried he wasn't ready to move up to high school.
• Constantly compared to his talented 'football star' twin brother Dylan who went on to win a college football scholarship
• Switched high schools after just one year after 'terrible' and 'traumatic' bullying on the school bus left him feeling down
• First dressed as a lady while appearing in a local play and was taught how to apply make-up and walk in high-heels by a drag queen named Guava Chiffon
Despite the turmoil of those early years it was a love of acting and performing on stage in high school that helped the 'extremely popular' student flourish, developing into a confident teenager who would, by her early 20s, begin her gender transition and blossom into a beautiful young woman.
And in these amazing, never-before-seen photos of Candis before her gender switch it's clear to see how a skinny, awkward young boy with bangs named Brendan McDanniel became a handsome, self-assured young man who came to understand what direction he must take in life.
Born in 1971 Candis grew up living on the campus of Haleakala Waldorf School, a small private school in the mountains of Maui where her parents Gary and Patricia McDanniel were teachers.
From an early age she was seen as a 'wonderful' child who always had something 'different' about her.
Candis pictured here on the left before her transition from Brendan McDanniel has become a trusted mentor to Caitlyn Jenner, at right before her transition from Bruce Jenner
Candis' grade school teacher Eleanor Dudley, who is also a close family friend, fondly recalls her growing up as Brendan and making all around her smile.
'Brendan was a wonderful child, always smiling,' she said. 'He really was a joy.'
Eleanor, 76, taught Candis and twin brother Dylan from age 11 to 14 at Waldorf School.
'Gary, Patricia and I were all teachers there. When they moved here from California the twins were sixth graders and Gary didn't want to teach them so I wound up being their teacher until eighth grade
'I taught them most of the academic subjects, English, math, science and so on.'
Mrs Dudley remembers both Candis and brother Dylan being 'unusual' children.
But she says it was Candis who bore the brunt of the abuse from school bullies for the 'feminine' persona Brendan carried.
She said: 'Dylan was intellectually brilliant and athletic and Brendan was flamboyant and the most feminine person in the room and so consequently he was the one who was teased.
'It seemed like after every recess I had to talk to some of the children in class about teasing Brendan, it was mainly the boys, they would call him gay, some of the kids were really rude to him. I think sixth grade was the worst.
'The kids would say their parents had told them Brendan was gay and I'd say, "well your parents are wrong".'
Candis' grade school teacher Eleanor Dudley, who is also a close family friend, fondly recalls Candis growing up as Brendan and making all around her smile.
'By the time he went to high school Brendan was very theatrical, he had great presentation, he was flamboyant and had great style,' said Mrs Dudley, who spoke with Candis two weeks ago during a visit to Maui
The theater group at Baldwin High School was a saving grace for Candis, It was in the drama program where she shined
Fueling the bullies was the fact that Brendan was the polar opposite to Dylan.
'There was such a difference between the two,' said Mrs Dudley, speaking from her home set in lush tropical gardens in Haiku towards the center of Maui,
'They were fraternal twins but incredibly different. Dylan had this great mind and played football. He went on to get a football scholarship at Linfield College in Oregon.
'While Brendan was a really, really handsome young man who the girls just loved, he was also very feminine and skinny and the school work didn't come so easy, so he was a target for abuse.
'He had a great heart though and learned with his heart and he tried to be a good student, his parents put a lot of emphasis on school.'
Mrs Dudley also says that Candis refused to 'tell' on the bullies and would even worry that their feelings would be hurt.
'It was really unique, even though some of the kids were really cruel to him, if anybody's feelings were hurt he would always let me know, he was really compassionate and really loving from a very young age,' she said.
'In a way Brendan was a little naive though, because he'd sometimes agree with the bullies and say, 'well I am a gay person', because he thought of himself as being very happy.'
But Mrs Dudley, who is retired and sells flowers at the local market, says that Candis always kept a 'good attitude' and battled through the hard times.
She said nothing seemed to faze him, adding: 'You know I think Brendan has always believed in Brendan.'
Mrs Dudley said Candis always knew she was destined to become a performer.
Candis came to the general public's attention when she landed a role in ABC prime time drama Dirty Sexy Money in 2007. She played a transgender woman having an affair with a married politician played by William Baldwin
Candis was popular in high school, especially with his gal friends. They adored the ever-smiling teen, who never let on that he was bullied by many of the boys
In one yearbook photo obtained by Daily Mail Online, Candis is seen alongside an attractive blonde girl at the high school senior ball. The event in December, 1988 was held at the Royal Lahaina Alii Ballroom and Candis looked very dapper in a waistcoat and bow tie next to his prom date. The caption read: 'Brendan McDanniel is tempted to hit the dance floor...'
Under a photo of 14-year-old Brendan in the 1985 yearbook for Waldorf school it read: 'Most likely to stand up before they announce the winner at the academy awards.'
And a quote from the student in the same yearbook showed his thoughtful side, he said: 'The teachers care about each and every one of us, and that's what makes the school so special.'
Mrs Dudley believes Candis knew from an early age that she was uncomfortable in her own skin.
She remembers how the youngster always looked towards twin cousins in the family who were a boy and a girl, imagining that that was him and his brother.
'He thought he and Dylan should have been like that, a boy and a girl,' she said.
'I think Brendan always knew he wanted to be a girl but at that time he wouldn't have told anybody.'
This is a sentiment Candis herself has acknowledged, previously saying she first realized she was different when she was just six.
She said in an interview: 'Growing up, me and my brother we were kind of exact opposites.
'We were completely yin and yang. He was more rough and tumble, and I just wanted to play with my girlfriends.'
By eighth grade Candis' parents decided to keep him back a year as they didn't think he was ready for the jump to high school.
Mrs Dudley recalls: 'Brendan was furious by the whole thing, they let him graduate as an eighth grader and then they told him they were holding him back, I was shocked myself.
'I think they felt that he wasn't really ready for high school, both academically and emotionally, and they were kind of concerned.
Candis, who was born in Hawaii in 1971, with her supportive parents Gary and Patricia McDanniel at a NYC Pride event
Candis grew up living on the campus of Haleakala Waldorf School, a small private school in the mountains of Maui where her parents Gary McDanniel and Patricia Relles were teachers.
Grade school teacher Eleanor Dudley fondly recalls Candis's twin brother Dylan (pictured) was intellectually brilliant and athletic and Brendan was flamboyant and the most feminine person in the room and so consequently he was the one who was teased
The Hawaiian family home of transgender actress Candis. While her parents have retired and now live in Washington state, they still own the family home in Maui and regularly return during the winter months
'In the end Brendan came round to it and it was a wonderful experience for him. Candis later told me it was her best class.'
But while the teasing started at grade school Candis' toughest time came during her first year of high school.
He initially attended Maui High School and took a 35-minute bus journey to school every morning.
It was during this ride that the teenager was cruelly taunted by the other kids leaving him deeply unhappy.
Mrs Dudley recalls: 'It was really very traumatic for Brendan, really terrible. He couldn't even ride the bus he got teased so much, he could really only ride the bus when there was a student from another school he knew that could protect him.
'I don't think there was anything physical and Brendan handled it so well.'
Nevertheless, Candis' parents decided to pull him out of Maui High School after a year and switched him to Baldwin High School instead.
It was a move that would prove significant in the life of this young teen.
And it was at Baldwin and specifically in the drama program the school runs that Candis felt truly protected.
'By the time he went to high school Brendan was very theatrical, he had great presentation, he was flamboyant and had great style,' said Mrs Dudley, who spoke with Candis two weeks ago during a visit to Maui.
Mrs Dudley knew both Candis and her brother in grade school
'He dressed very dramatically in long trench coats and boots, but it wasn't always appreciated by the other kids.'
Mrs Dudley said she went to see most of Candis' stage performances and was blown away by his talent.
'I remember seeing him at the Diamond Lil, a variety show they put on, and out came this couple to tango music and I sat up immediately, I remember thinking the male dancer was like a combination of Prince and Rudolph Valentino, I thought, 'that person's incredible, oh my gosh it's Brendan'. 'Then I realized Brendan was such a charismatic performer and a very talented actor.'
Mrs Dudley gives credit for Candis' transformation into a talented performer to her veteran drama teacher Sue Loudon who, she says, inspired Candis to take to the stage.
Daily Mail Online spoke to Mrs Loudon, now retired and living in Missouri, to ask her what she remembers about her former student.
'She was a very, very sweet, wonderful, talented student, self-determined, very well liked among the students and she seemed to have that inclination towards the theater,' she said fondly.
'It was great what she did in the group, we just loved her.'
Mrs Loudon, 74, says she wasn't aware that Candis had been bullied.
'All I remember is that Brendan was just a great kid when he walked through the door, he fit right in with everybody,' she said.
'He joined in with all the activities and no one gave him a hard time in our group.
'I remember we did a USO show and he was one of the Navy guys, he got within the dance group.
'He was always very eager to learn and did well.'
Under a photo of 14-year-old Brendan in the 1985 yearbook for Waldorf school it read: 'Most likely to stand up before they announce the winner at the academy awards.'
'While Brendan was a really, really handsome young man who the girls just loved, he was also very feminine and skinny and the school work didn't come so easy, so he was a target for abuse,' said Mrs. Dudley
Several photos of Candis can be found in the tattered drama group scrap books, currently gathering dust at the back of the classroom.
Current Baldwin drama teacher, Linda Carnevalle also taught Candis for his last two years at high school.
She recalls: 'It's so funny because Candis' smile is still the same. She was always liked here, nobody did not like her.
'I always thought she was more of a dancer, she was a great dancer.
'This drama group was definitely her haven. I came here when I was a kid too. You couldn't wait for your school day to start so you can go to the drama room.
'Candis was here at recess, lunch times, after school and Saturday workshop.
'She was also part of the Silent Youth group that did outreach, they went out to the shopping mall, hotels. She was a great kid, very handsome, always had nice straight cut hair.'
Mrs Carnevelle said Candis had come out as being gay by the time she started at the school and remembers a 'flamboyant, fun and affable' student.
Former teacher Eleanor Dudley recalls: 'It was really very traumatic for Brendan, really terrible. He couldn't even ride the bus he got teased so much, he could really only ride the bus when there was a student from another school he knew that could protect him'
Photos from the time show a happy teen in various school productions as part of the Baldwin Theater Guild.
In one yearbook photo, obtained by Daily Mail Online, Candis is seen alongside an attractive blonde girl at the high school senior ball.
The event in December, 1988 was held at the Royal Lahaina Alii Ballroom and Candis looked very dapper in a waistcoat and bow tie next to his likely prom date.
The caption read: 'Brendan McDanniel is tempted to hit the dance floor...'
A few weeks ago Baldwin High School celebrated 50 years of the drama group started by Ms Loudon and the school invited her and former drama students - including Candis - to attend.
Ms Loudon said: 'I met with Candis, wow talk about beautiful. I remember one year at the school when I was still teaching, a head popped through the door and I was like, 'who is that, so beautiful', and then I realized it was Brendan. Candis had come back on Maui to visit.'
By the late 1980s Candis had come out as being gay and threw herself into performance art.
She performed in La Cage aux Folles at the Iao Theater in Wailuku and it was during this play that she first dressed as a woman. Robin Williams later starred in a movie version of the play.
Mrs Dudley said: 'The play takes place in France and it's about two gay guys who have a drag club. Brendan played one of the chorus girls dressed in drag and that was the first time I saw him as a woman and he really was spectacular.
Candis' parents decided to pull him out of Maui High School after a year and switched him to Baldwin High School instead. It was a move that would prove significant in the life of this young teen
Several photos of Candis can be found in the tattered drama group scrap books, currently gathering dust at the back of the classroom
'I remember there was a drag queen in the play called Guava Chiffon, she was quite famous on the island.
'Guava really took to Brendan and showed him how to apply make-up and how to walk in high-heels for the first time, there were some outrageous routines and Brendan loved the role, he loved every moment. '
After graduating from Baldwin High School in 1989 Candis headed to LA to train as a dancer before moving to New York.
She lived in a single-room occupancy hotel in the Meatpacking district of Manhattan - then down-at-heel, now one of the city's trendiest areas - and worked in Chelsea as a kitty girl at gay club the Roxy.
She quickly began to make a name for herself as a choreographer and drag performer, appearing as Candis Cayne in Manhattan night spot Boy Bar, as well as various other drag events.
But it was three years after she arrived when she discovered the term transsexual and realized that's how she felt about herself.
In 1995 she starred in the documentary Wigstock: The Movie and appeared in a couple of films and music videos, including the music video for RuPaul's A Little Bit of Love.
The 5ft 10in beauty later went on to be a judge on RuPaul's Drag U.
Candis began her transition process in 1996 at aged 24.
Flat broke she began getting black-market hormones through a transgender club doorwoman named Paris and in a rundown basement in Guadalajara, Mexico, had surgeries.
Speaking of telling her parents about the decision, she told the New York Times: 'When I told my parents that I was starting my transition, my Dad said, "Well that makes so much more sense 'cause I never saw you any other way and now it totally works."
'It was unbelievable. The second I told them they flew to New York and wanted to make sure I was OK. And they found out I was happier.'
Mrs Dudley recalls this period being 'hard' for the family, but Candis's parents were very supportive.
She said: 'Brendan had said it was the right thing to do so they supported him.
Brendan is pictured (fifth from left) during his time at the Waldorf school in Maui
'I think they had major discussions about it, it wasn't an easy process, but Gary and Patricia were very supportive.'
Mrs Dudley, who still lives next door to Candis' family home, said the pretty star popped in to see her recently.
'She was here two weeks ago and was telling me about the reality show and how its helped her fix her car and they told her they would help with her love life,' she said.
Candis' parents, Gary and Patricia, have retired and now live in Washington state.
They still own the family home in Maui and regularly return during the winter months.
Candis came to the general public's attention when she landed a role in ABC prime time drama 'Dirty Sexy Money' in 2007.
She played Carmelita Rainer – a trans woman having an affair with married New York Attorney General Patrick Darling, played by William Baldwin.
She became the first transgender actress to appear on network TV.
Later she played a transgender character in season six of 'Nip/Tuck'.
Candis appeared on Good Morning America, where Robin Roberts said she was 'blazing a path' for transgender visibility.
The spotlight did not last, however.
After 'Dirty Sexy Money' was canceled, Candis largely faded from public view.
But now she has re-emerged on a larger stage as Caitlyn Jenner's confidante and close friend on 'I Am Cait'.