Roberta Cowell, born as Robert Cowell on May 21, 1919, became the first known British male-to-female transsexual to undergo vaginoplasty on May 15, 1951 via a surgical method invented and performed by Dr. Harold Gillies. This occurred almost 2 years earlier than Christine Jorgensen in the United States. Roberta Cowell's surgical transformation and friendship with the female-to-male transsexual Michael Dillon, also operated on by Dr. Harold Gillies, is documented in the book "The First Man-Made Man" by Pagan Kennedy [1].


  • Roberta Cowell, The First British Transsexual
  • Roberta Cowell's Story by Roberta Cowell, Heinemann, 1954

See also