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Episode 11 of 11

S2E2: Planes, Trans and Automobiles - Roberta Cowell (Part Two: The Dillon/Gillies Remix)

Duration: 01:13:35
(If you are here to find the timestamp to skip over the definitions section, skip from 6.20 to 9.54.)   

Some historical figures are riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in a vest, with a great manicure. Roberta Cowell is one of them. Raised as a boy, Roberta Cowell was a racing car driver, nearly an
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(If you are here to find the timestamp to skip over the definitions section, skip from 6.20 to 9.54.)   

Some historical figures are riddles wrapped in enigmas wrapped in a vest, with a great manicure. Roberta Cowell is one of them. Raised as a boy, Roberta Cowell was a racing car driver, nearly an accidental assassin, and a World War II fighter pilot and a race car driver again before realising she was a transgender woman. Thus began her next grand plan to have her true sex (her words) realised, and her body match her mind. 

Thanks to Erin for providing the voice of Roberta Cowell. Erin is a transgender actress, musician and historian based in Victoria. Thanks also to Ben MacEllen for providing the voice of Michael Dillon. Ben is a transgender actor and LGBTIQA+ activist based in Victoria and his website is benmacellen.com. 

This podcast contains discussion of intersexuality, transgender issues, transphobia, gender reassignment surgery, outdated language with regards to transgender and intersex people, brief cruelty to animals, facial injuries, surgery and medical experimentation, war injuries, Nazi atrocities, cruelty to prisoners of war, war rape, attempted sexual assault, and some bad language. 

We have elected to use male pronouns for Roberta before she began her transition, as she herself did in her autobiography. Discussion of Roberta after she began her transition will then use female pronouns. In the same vein, we use female pronouns for Michael Dillon before he began his transition, and male pronouns thereafter. We have however avoided using their deadnames. 

All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in this podcast however with the nature of historical research, there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. The fallible nature of human memory must also be considered and is a point of discussion in this episode. Nicola also misstated the year Roberta and her wife divorced, and it was in actuality, 1952. Wales is also part of the UK, she meant to say "Welsh people moved across the border to England." Should Wales be part of the UK? That's a question for another time.


 

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For more information on the podcast, go to womenofwarpod.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @womenofwarpod for updates, sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. 

Donate to Minus18, an Aussie charity that seeks to educate, empower and support queer youth, here: https://www.minus18.org.au/

Check out Intersex Australia, another Aussie charity that aims to empower intersex individuals and educate endosex individuals. Find them here: https://ihra.org.au/

If you’ve read down this far, you’re hot. Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and you’ll be even hotter.

For more information on Michael Dillon check out The First Man Made Man by Pagan Kennedy, just not from Amazon if you can. For more information on Dr Harold Gillies, read his Wikipedia page - and there’s a lot about him in Kennedy’s book also. For more information on Roberta Cowell, start with her autobiography, Roberta Cowell’s Story.  For more information about LGBTQ+ people and their experience of serving in the military, check out Serving in Silence by Noah Riseman, Shirleene Robinson, and  Graham Willett. 


Intro and Outro Music: Frosty Forest by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com
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