Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT (Room to be confirmed shortly)
We are delighted to announce Caroline Paige who in 1999 became the first openly transgender officer in the British Armed Forces will be joining us to share her story and experience.
Caroline joined the Royal Air Force in 1980 and served as a navigator on fighter aircraft, providing air defence of the UK and the Falkland Islands, during the Cold War. After twelve years she volunteered for tactical trooping helicopters, seeing service in Northern Ireland, and on the ground with the United Nations during the Bosnian War.
Caroline had struggled with gender identity since childhood but had been forced to hide her feelings due to ingrained prejudice within her family and the world beyond. When she joined the armed forces military law barred LGBT service, so her secret remained hidden. Caroline trailblazed frontline service as an openly transgender woman, returning to Bosnia, followed by many tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she earned several awards for ‘exceptional service’.
She now has her own business, contracted to teach tactical flying skills to European military helicopter aircrews, enhancing platform, crew, and passenger survivability. She also volunteers as a Stonewall School Role Model, and talks publicly to businesses, groups, schools and colleges, to raise awareness of transgender lives.
Additionally, Caroline works as a volunteer for Schools OUT UK with LGBT History Month, and has been an active campaigner for open service in the US Armed Forces since 2013. Caroline’s autobiography True Colours: My Life as the First Openly Transgender Officer in the British Armed Forces was published on 6th Mar 2017. Since then Caroline has been interviewed on Good Morning Britain with Piers and Susanna, Radio 4 Women’s Hour with Jane Garvey, Sky News, Forces TV, and BBC 1 TV’s Sunday Live presented her in interview with Wendy Robbins. She has been invited to speak on over twenty more radio programmes, with stations at home and abroad, telling her own story, challenging Trump's decisions regarding a bar on trans military service, and in regard to domestic discussion topics covering trans-related stories in the news.
To book your place please visit the event page.