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Tatler makes history as the first Russian glossy magazine to feature a transgender cover star

Emma Powys Maurice March 11, 2020
tatler trans

Born in Kazakhstan, Natasha Maximova now works in the French fashion industry (Instagram/@maxinatacha)

Tatler magazine has braved the strong anti-LGBT+ sentiment in Russia by featuring a trans woman on its cover, becoming the first Russian glossy to do so.

Natasha Maximova appears in an elegant khaki dress on the cover of the magazine’s April issue, beneath the headline: “My name is Natasha. This is how to change your gender, country, and life.”

It will certainly be a controversial issue in a country which has one of the worst LGBT+ rights records in the world. The hostility towards LGBT+ people was heightened in 2013 when Putin introduced the “gay propaganda law” which bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors”.

However this law does not extend to gender identity, which meant Tatler was free to feature Maximova on the cover.

Maximova came out on social media in December by posting a photo of herself as a child. She described her childhood in Kazakhstan, being born to a “simple but loving family” who believed that she was a little boy.

 

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A post shared by NATALYA MAXIMOVA (@maxinatacha) on

Maximova identified as a girl from an early age, wearing her sister’s dresses, playing with dolls, and asking her mother for starched bows. When people addressed her as a boy she would tell them: “I’m sorry, but you’ve got it wrong, my name is Natasha.”

The problems began when went to school. “As a child, I was wildly perplexed after suddenly being faced with the fact that not all children or adults were ready to agree that I was Natasha,” she said.

As she continued to insist upon her gender the insult “hermaphrodite” was often hurled at her. Many people tried to wear her down but “it was absolutely impossible to break me”, she said.

When she became an adult she left Kazakhstan for France, where she was free to live as Natasha. “Here, everything fell into place. I became Natasha in my birth certificate, in my passport. And simply in life.”

Posting the Tatler cover on Instagram, Maximova wrote: “Being the first transgender woman on a Tatler cover, I want to dedicate [my shoot] to those who fight, to those who love and to those who made their choices or are on their way to make a decision.

“You are all different, you are all beautiful, and you are all you! Thank you for believing!”

 

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A post shared by NATALYA MAXIMOVA (@maxinatacha) on

More: gay propaganda law, Natasha Maximova, putin, Russia, tatler, trans model

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