His brother, Sir Robert Dillon… “It became quite obvious that the feminine side of my nature, which all my life I had known of and severely repressed, was very much more fundamental and deep-rooted than I had supposed.”. Roberta Cowell had discovered Michael Dillon's book and decided she had to meet the open-minded scholar. Roberta's life is described in her biography, Roberta Cowell's Story. Laurence Michael Dillon (1 May 1915 – 15 May 1962) was a British physician and the first female-to-male transsexual to undergo phalloplasty. "One must not lead a girl on if one could not give her children. Pills saved her. She crash-landed the stricken warplane and was taken prisoner. Then came the turning point when she met Dillon. In 1950, Roberta struck up a friendship with Michael Dillon, Britain’s first female-to-male transsexual and a physician, who believed that individuals should have the right to change gender. Michael Dillon, a bearded medical student, fiddled with his pipe and then lit it nervously. And all she could do was snigger. His brother, Sir Robert Dillon, was the eighth Baronet of Lismullen in Ireland. She achieved this fame when she became the first person in her country known to have her gender reassigned from male to female. By age 35, he had vowed never to fall in love. Perhaps because she was one of the first to transition medically, she didn’t recommend it easily to others, saying, “Many of those people will regret the operation later. In 1948, Cowell left her family and sought help. The local people had grown used to seeing to patients without noses or jaws walking around town. "At Christmas ... there was a grand party on the Eve, which I M.C. At first glance, Laura seemed to be a fellow just out of Oxford, dismounting his motorbike with a dashing leap. She persuaded them “in my halting German” that she was not a bomber pilot and told them the untruth that her mother and father had been killed in a German raid on London. It was Dillon who secretly performed an illegal inguinal orchiectomy on Roberta. So during the mid-1940s, Dillon lived a curious double life: he was both a medical student in Dublin and a patient in England. He returned to Dublin, where he was finishing up the last year of medical school, but Roberta continued to haunt him, to tug at his heart. The two men then helped Michael's great love, rally driver Roberta Cowell, to undergo gender correction from man to woman. Cowell is the first woman known to undergo sex reassignment surgery in Britain. In fact, he possessed startling proof of exactly what medical science could do. Serving the Kansas and Missouri Transgender Community. Somewhere in there lived the one woman who could understand him, the one woman who could recognize him as a real man. Roberta Cowell. The operation, thus, was conducted in great secrecy, and its success enabled Cowell to seek medical affidavits to have her birth gender formally re-registered as female. As soon as Dillon could looked entirely male, he became invisible. He sent her long confessional letters about his girlhood and his years at Oxford. He'd wanted her to see how he'd turned that suffering into a handsome piece of flesh. figures. But the patients knew that once they boarded the train, they would become pariahs at the very next town - passengers would flinch, stare, scuttle away from them. Excerpted from The First Man-Made Man by Pagan Kennedy Copyright © 2006 by Pagan Kennedy . She'd written to him care of his publisher and they'd exchanged a … People, she wrote, would speculate openly on her gender. This had been reinforced by a book called “Self: A Study in Ethics and Endocrinology” (1946) by Michael Dillon, a medical student whom she sought out in 1950. Dillon continued exploring the interplay between body and mind during medical school at Trinity College, Dublin, which he began in the autumn of 1945. Dillon claims that his misogyny was all an act, one of the tools he used to keep women from falling in love with him. Then they parted. Then, Michael Dillon fell silent. Conditions at Stalag Luft I worsened as the end of the war approached, with Soviet Red Army troops advancing across Germany toward Berlin. Born Laura Maud Dillon ; 1915–1962 ) was a British physician and the pipe, would hide history... 'S face, he shadowed doctors on their hospital rounds, assisted in the mid 20th century Michael... But did not exactly have the most perfectly developed sense of humor, '' Sir Harold Gillies Michael. Several marriage proposals — when her oxygen supply malfunctioned but somehow reviving after her plummeted! A decade earlier, an athletic blonde named Laura Dillon as a racing car.. 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