I Almost Made a Mistake

| Feb 25, 2019
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I have a lot in common with two British chaps. George Jamieson born in 1935 and Robert Marshall Cowell born in 1918.

For starters, George and I were both born in 1935. In fact, I am two months older than him. However, that is not all we have in common. All three of us certainly had a gender identification problem in childhood.

During World War Two, George and I were little tykes contending with our gender problem. While Robert who was seventeen years older was an RAF fighter pilot. He was shot down over Germany and taken prisoner. He apparently had a tougher problem coping with his gender problem while he was a prisoner. He constantly was afraid he would be taken for a homosexual.

Roberta Cowell

After the war, Robert became involved in racing cars. He owned a racing engineering company and was a driver. He also continued to fly airplanes. In 1950 Robert then took a lot of female hormones, changed his name to Roberta and had vaginoplasty surgery on 15 May 1951. The rest of her SRS is a mystery. Usually SRS consists of two surgeries. Only the vaginoplasty is mentioned in any research I could find. She continued to drive powerful automobiles and was active in British racing circles through the seventies. However, she could not find steady employment and always had money problems.

In an interview, she stated she was an intersex individual with the chromosomal abnormality XX male syndrome, and that the condition justified her transition. She also spoke in derogatory terms of those individuals with XY chromosomes who also underwent male to female gender reassignment, saying, “the people who have followed me have often been those with male chromosomes, XY. So, they’ve been normal people who’ve turned themselves into freaks by means of the operation.”

She died on 11 October 2011. Her funeral was attended by only six people.

George also had similar homosexual concerns. George attempted suicide and was institutionalized. He has stated during an interview, when the doctors in the institution told him, to go away and be gay. He said, “I’m not a homosexual. I want to be a woman.”

April Ashley

George moved to Paris and worked as a female impersonator under the stage name of Toni April. In 1960 he had SRS in Casablanca, Morocco. She moved back to London and became a successful fashion model as April Ashely. She was outed by a newspaper as a trans woman in 1961.

She has been married twice. Her first marriage to Arthur Corbett in 1963 was annulled in 1970 on the grounds April was a male. She remarried in 1980 to Jeffrey West. I don’t know what has happened to Mr. West.

She currently lives in London and doesn’t know many people there… She says, “They’re all dead.” Nor does she go out much. “I’m totally reclusive. I can’t be bothered with people anymore. I find them so shallow.”

When speaking of her SRS, she says, “For me, it was clear-cut.  But some people do get confused. I have known quite a few who committed suicide after the operation because they realized they’d made a terrible mistake.”

Back in 1952 when I was drafted into the military, I was trying to figure this homosexual problem out. Homosexually was a section eight dishonorable, maybe medical discharge then. Any discharge other than honorable meant problems after the service. Actually, even thinking about homosexually wasn’t even an option. I even got married still struggling trying to figure out who and what I was Information was limited and there was nobody to consult with.  At age 25, I was starting a family George was having SRS in Morocco. SRS was also something I seriously considered as a solution to my problems.

I can relate to Roberta as I also flew airplanes and built race cars and engines. I found this very challenging and rewarding. Also, a very good deflection from my other challenges and rewards. I struggled on for 23 years of marriage. It was like walking on a razor blade’s edge at times. Fortunately, the flying and racing machines kept me from falling off.

After my marriage ended, and my eyesight ended my flying. I pretty much went totally femme and again seriously considered SRS.

Another solution was offered to me by the CFO of the company I worked for. She knew about Suzzie and my thinking about SRS. She was a brilliant genetically correct divorced woman. I reasoned if she could make the payroll and pay the bills of that company, she had to be brilliant. So, I listened to her spiel about my future.

She pointed out I was making good money at the time. However, I had a 16% mortgage on an inflated house. I also had a car payment and my hobby as she called my dressing pretty much took up all that was left. She went on old age is approaching, and you are on track to be living it in some beat down apartment. As there is no way you will ever own that house, and no way you can keep the payments up. The car will wear out, and you will be going in debt for another one. As to your hobby down the road nobody will want to have anything to do with an old retired whatever you will be then even if part of you is missing, and, you have an extra orifice. She pointed out unless I made a lifestyle change, I was on track to live my golden years as a miserable aged, lonely, confused recluse residing in a slum.

Then she made me an offer. She and I could pool our resources. That way, she could invest in our golden years.  We could move into her rental house (she dealt in real estate on the side) which would free up more resources. I was on the road most of the time anyway. She added my hobby did not bother her, and she could help me with it. However, she cautioned not to expect miracles. As she said, “Sid you ain’t never going to be Suzzie.” That’s when Suzzie came about. Before then I was GiGi. GiGi was because of my initials G. G. on my credit cards instead of my first name. This was something transvestites did way back then.

As to SRS her advice was to keep it, as it was handy to have on a picnic. This sold me, and we made a deal. Three years later, we got married because of financial benefits.

We started our own engineering company, made a little money, and had a lot of fun. I’ve been retired nineteen years now and we live very comfortably. She did a great job investing our resources.

It’s like April said, all Suzzie’s old friends are dead or missing. However, Suzzie is not lonely. She has enough money for some fine wine (three buck Chuck from Trader Joes?)  and, a new dress from time to time, which really isn’t needed. As the SO CFO pointed out almost forty years ago nobody really wants anything to do with an old whatever. It seems April and Roberta found this out later in life. I was lucky and found it out early made plans and expected it.  As to a picnic, I have not ever been on one. However, I have found it handy, especially after a few beers in the woods. Which I guess could sub for a picnic.

I always was jealous of April and Roberta… April was beautiful, and Roberta had breasts to die for. A sweater girl for sure XX chromosomes?  I think so I, on the other hand, am definably missing the extra X. I have all male features. Broad shoulders, big stomach, small hips, big ears, nose, and hands. Christ my hands are like catcher’s mitts. I’m an XY for sure. If I had done the SRS, it most likely would have not solved my identity problem. It may have turned out creating more problems. Suicide, I think not but who knows?

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More History

Cowell came across the 1946 book Self: a study in ethics and endocrinology, by Michael Dillon, which contains a section discussing sex changes as possible. Cowell wrote to him via the publisher, and after several lengthy letters, they met in London. Dillon admitted that he had been a woman until a few years previously. More meetings followed. Michael convinced himself that fate had put them together, and they should be a couple. Cowell needed an orchidectomy if she were to proceed to being a woman, but no doctor in the U.K. would do the operation because of the mayhem laws. Michael, who was nearing the completion of his medical degree at Trinity College, Dublin, used his new skills to do so. He also introduced Roberta to Arthur Millbourn, Canon at Bristol Cathedral, and to his surgeon Harold Gillies.  However, he finally had to concede that Roberta was not returning his passion.

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Then, in the late ’50s, a french plastic surgeon named Georges Burou, M.D. invented the modern form of penile inversion MtF sex reassignment surgery for MtF transsexuals. Variations of Dr. Burou’s technique has been used ever since. Dr. Burou’s classic innovation was to use the male genitalia as source of skin and sensitive erotic tissue to create the new female genitalia, including the vagina.

Dr. Burou performed these surgeries in his clinic in Casablanca, Morocco. In 1958-60, several famous and very beautiful young “female impersonators” from the club Le Carrousel in Paris, France, including Coccinelle, Bambi and April Ashley, were successfully transformed into women by Dr. Burou. Many of the young Le Carrousel girls had received female hormones as a side-benefit of working at the club, and as a result had become incredibly beautiful, feminine and sexy. Several returned to perform at the club after their genital surgery. Their successful “sex changes” became widely known about, and they became sought after as love objects by many prominent, wealthy men. Some very wealthy men (including Aristotle Onassis) would occasionally “sponsor” the sex change surgery of a Le Carrousel girl, who would then became their mistress for a while.

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Category: History, Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

Suzzie has been crossdressing for 71 years. Her first 23 years were in the deep closet. She has been out of the deep closet for 48 years. However, living square in the middle of the “Bible Belt” she still has to get behind the closet door from time to time. And age 83 has certainly curtailed her dressing somewhat. Suzzie has been retired for 18 years. Before retirement, she was a veteran, husband, father, pilot, engineer, and a CEO. After retirement, she has been busy becoming a published author. She is currently finishing her third novel.

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