60 year old Caroline Cossey, a transgender model, appeared in Playboy back in 1981, at the time her transgender identity was a secret. She has since broken boundaries and fought tirelessly for the transgender community.
And while she is thrilled by the outpouring of love and support for Caitlyn Jenner, the former Bond girl has admitted that she is worried the reality star is moving too fast with her transition.
When Caitlyn made her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair in June, unfounded rumors that she had already undergone gender reassignment surgery began to swirl. But as a transgender woman who went through countless and lengthy psychological evaluations before she completed her transition, Caroline has admitted to Daily Mail Online that she is ‘praying Caitlyn hasn’t had surgery’ just yet.
‘She looks amazing,’ Caroline said. ‘But everything is being done in such a rushed hurry.’
Guidelines for sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) vary from country to country, and Caroline explained that a candidate typically has to undergo psychological testing, and wait at least a year before being approved for sexual reassignment surgery.
However, she imagines that someone with extreme wealth, like Caitlyn, would be able to find a way to bypass these requirements.
Recalling the detailed and incredibly personal questioning she had to undergo before being able to proceed with gender reassignment surgery, Caroline explained that during Caitlyn’s powerful interview with Diane Sawyer in April, the athlete, who maintained she is attracted to women, was not asked whether she got sexually aroused when dressing in women’s clothes.
‘That’s the first thing they asked,’ she said of starting the SRS process. ‘They try to deter you from surgery.’
Caroline said there is a huge difference between being transgender and being a transvestite, and while there is ‘absolutely nothing wrong’ with being a transvestite, confusion can lead to a painful surgery and a lifetime of regret.
‘She is beautiful. She looks amazing,’ Caroline said of Caitlyn. ‘I just want to make sure she is not going down the wrong road.’
Caroline is not only protective of Caitlyn, she is worried about the countless others who may be rushing into SRS as a result of the increased public awareness about transgender people.
‘I am very concerned about the people who are following and rushing into things without getting the right counseling,’ she explained.
Ultimately, Caroline said she wants Caitlyn to be happy, and while the I Am Cait star hasn’t reached out to her, she said she would love to share her experience and answer any questions she might have.
‘You can’t just go from playing the male role for 65 years, and then go to being a female and expect for it to fall into place,’ she said.
‘The most important thing she’s got – and I was very touched by this – she has got a loving and supportive family. That’s what kept me stable, and that’s what will keep her stable.’
Caroline recently spoke with Playboy about her experience after decades of silence, as well as the initial shock she felt when Caitlyn came out as a transgender woman. However, the interview was conducted before Bruce transitioned to Caitlyn, and she referred to her using her former name and male pronouns.
‘I hope she wasn’t offended by anything that was in Playboy,’ Caroline said earnestly. ‘That interview was done before she came out. I wouldn’t be that disrespectful. She deserves the respect to be Caitlyn now.’
While she candidly shared her concerns about Caitlyn, Caroline was just as quick to offer praise for her.
Caroline found Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair cover to be ‘beautiful’, noting that she liked how ‘she embraced the old glamour of Hollywood’ when she posed in an ivory corset.