Tatler has become the first Russian glossy magazine to feature a trans woman on the cover.
Natasha Maximova appears on the April issue of the long-running magazine, which hits newsstands today (11 March), alongside the headline: “My name is Natasha. This is how to change your gender, country and life.”
The Kazakh-born, Paris-based socialite came out to her Instagram followers last December. In her Tatler interview, she says she “never had the need to come out” until she witnessed a confrontation in Belgium.
“I realised at that moment that I have no right not to protect others. I have no right to remain silent,” she said.
It’s a brave move for both the magazine and Maximova, as there has been increased hostility towards LGBTQ people in Russia over the last decade.
“From tomboy to a cover-girl,” she wrote alongside her cover on Instagram.
“Being the first transgender woman on Tatler cover I want to dedicate it to those who fight, to those who love and to those who made their choices or on their way to take a decision.
“You are all different, you are all beautiful and you are all YOU! Thank you for believing!”
While being LGBTQ isn’t illegal in Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s ‘gay propaganda’ law has created a hostile environment for the whole community. A prominent LGBTQ activist was murdered last year after her name was listed on a vile ‘gay-hunting’ website.
Elsewhere, in self-governed Russian state Chechnya, gay people have been rounded up and held in modern-day concentration camps, with many of them tortured for information and some even beaten to death.