Roberta Cowell was the first known British transgender woman to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
While flying Spitfires during World War II, she was shot down and captured by the German army and was detained as a prisoner of war.
Upon her return to England, she founded a motor-racing company that competed in events across Europe.
The short list for the Roberta Cowell Gay Times Honour is as follows:
- Peter Tatchell (Co-founder of OutRage!)
- Gay Liberation Front (Founded in 1970, paved the way for other organisations like LGBT Switchboard and Stonewall)
- Lady Phyll (Founder of UK Black Pride)
- Bisi Alimi (Nigerian LGBT+ activist)
- OutRage! (British LGBT+ rights group founded in 1990)
- Press for Change (UK group devoted to the rights of transgender people)
- April Ashley MBE (Model, author and activist)
On Saturday 18 November 2017, Gay Times will present Gay Times Honours – an evening that will recognise organisations and individuals who have had a tremendous impact over the past 50 years on what it means to live openly and freely as LGBT+ people in Britain today.
The Gay Times Honours will be presented at the National Portrait Gallery, which was founded in 1856 to promote, through portraits, the appreciation of men and women who have made and are making British history and culture, and which has a long history of providing a platform for the voices of the LGBT+ community.