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Biography History Humanities Journal/Diary Social Sciences

My Story

By Tula Caroline Cossey, 1991

Tula Caroline Cossey was born with male genitalia but went on to become a beautiful woman with a successful modelling career. My Story is Tula?s candid thought provoking, enlightening, humorous, heart wrenching and motivational account of her struggles: her troubled childhood being bullied and taunted in East Anglia, her dreams of becoming a woman, the operations that liberated her sexually, and the journey from showgirl to James Bond girl to top international model. At the height of her career, Tula had appeared in Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar and graced the covers of many top fashion and beauty magazines and top calendars around the world. She was also the first transgendered model to appear in Playboy magazine and was featured on the cover of multiple international editions. After she was twice exposed by the News of the World, Tula’s career plummeted and her marriage to multimillionaire Elias Fattal was annulled. In the spring of 1989, she was forced to make a unique appeal to the European Commission of Human Rights: she was fighting for the legal validation of her marriage as a female and the right to have her birth certificate amended after gender reassignment surgery. Her activism led to appearances on Donahue, Joan Rivers, Howard Stern, Geraldo, Montel Williams, Maury Povich, Arsenio Hall, Neal Boortz, David Frost, Gloria Hunniford, BBC?s Question Time, Jonathan Ross, and numerous other television and radio shows. She has also often been featured on Entertainment Tonight and had a day named after her in Atlanta, Georgia and was given the key to the city. My Story is not just the true account of Tula’s battle for the body she needed to survive and her struggle for the legal rights she deserved as a woman. It is above all an inspirational exemplification of the triumph of the human spirit over seemingly insurmountable adversity and suffering.

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