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Digital Subscriptions > Transliving Magazine > Transliving Issue 58 > THE ROBERTA COWELL STORY


Roberta as featured in Picture Post

100 Years ago this spring, a famous Spitfire pilot, POW, racing driver, husband and father of two children was born. Robert became Roberta Cowell – she who had the UK’s first (and possibly the world’s first) legal gender change from male to female in 1951. Once she did that, it became perfectly legal for surgeons to perform the necessary operations and to remove all traces of her male persona.

I saw her racing at Goodwood when I was a young man, and her story in Picture Post magazines. I have often wondered if that was a factor in my own transvestism, given that we also share the same star sign! I also was in the RAF, had a motor industry and sport background, and am a crossdresser, so I feel a great affinity towards her.

Male-to-female and female-to-male gender-changing, in myth and fact, has a long history, as has the reasons and desires of many to wear the garments of their opposite gender. Certainly gender-change practices were part of Egyptian history, were written about by Greek and Roman playwrights, were, and are, practised by peoples in the near and far East, by ethnic Indians in North and South America and by the Polynesians, amongst many others. There have been cases of soldiers, sailors and pirates who turned out to be women. We all know examples – such as the recently filmed Lily Elbe and the Chevalier d’Eon de Beaumont after whom the Beaumont Society is named.

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About Transliving Magazine

Hi and welcome to issue 58 of Transliving International. In this issue, we feature Norma Simone on the cover with her recent Indian Summer themed photoshoot. This issue also includes an event report with photos from South Africa Pride as well as Alternative Miss London 2017 and the Autumn Transliving Eastbourne Weekend. Other features include a readers' recent Lolita themed photoshoot, New gorgeous fashion & makeup trends, an interview with trans model Judith Wilde, a product review of the new Selene Vagina Gaff, a recent Bristol boat trip, regular reader Shona from Suffolk visits a Dressing Service to live out her bucket-list by creating as many different looks as possible and shares her photos with us, and we look at the inspiring story of Roberta Cowell who is reported to be the UK's first transsexual, born 100 years ago. PLUS all our usual sections on where to go out in our Scene Guide, TV/TS Contacts, Events, readers' personal real-life stories & experiences, fabulous photo-spreads, advice on fashion, makeup & image styling, Information, Support and so much more!.... What more do you need? With so much going on it’s no surprise that Transliving is THE go-to magazine for the Cross-Dressing and Transgender community and their friends and lovers all over the world! Do you want to be featured in a future issue? Contact