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Munroe Bergdorf makes history as Cosmopolitan UK’s first-ever trans cover star

"Knowing I’m part of that sisterhood gives me so much hope and strength".

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Cosmopolitan UK / Jordan Rossi

Munroe Bergdorf has made history as the first trans cover star for Cosmopolitan UK, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary with its new February/March issue.

The 50th-anniversary issue, which goes on sale from 21 January, sees the model and activist talk to fellow writers, activists, and campaigners on topics including race, gender, and femininity. 

Cosmopolitan UK is also paying tribute to the cover that started it all, which came out in March 1972.

“I certainly won’t be the last”

Munroe celebrated the historic moment on her Instagram saying: “I can’t believe I’m writing this… BEYOND excited to share that I am @cosmopolitanUK’s covergirl for their 50th Anniversary Issue!

“I’m also the first transgender woman to ever feature on the cover in those 50 years of publication 🤯 Huge thank you to the Cosmo UK team for asking me to be part of this moment. Can’t wait for it to hit shelves 21st January!!!”

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A post shared by Munroe ✨ (@munroebergdorf)

In a second post, she added while she may be the magazine’s first trans cover star, she “certainly won’t be the last”. 

Those interviewing Bergdorf include Aja Barber, writer, stylist, and consultant, who deals with the intersectionality of sustainability in fashion, Vic Parsons, gender and identity reporter at PinkNews, and River Gallo, a filmmaker, actor, model, and intersex rights activist.

Speaking to Gallo about what world she envisions in 50 years from now Munroe says she wants people to “interrogate what they have always taken as truth. Interrogate your bias. Interrogate everything you know. It’s such a freeing thing.”

On moving conversations and trans-rights forwards, Munroe tells Vic Parsons:  “We need to have these conversations in the real world and in the mainstream,” which means platforming trans voices and not leaving them out of discussions in the media. 

She also reveals that she is galvanised by “the strength of Black women, and the resilience of being the most marginalised people on the planet. Knowing I’m part of that sisterhood gives me so much hope and strength.”

Cosmopolitan UK’s Editor-in-Chief Claire Hodgson, says: “No one encapsulates what it means to be a Cosmopolitan cover star more than Munroe Bergdorf, and I’m thrilled we’re celebrating Cosmopolitan UK’s 50th anniversary with such an important trailblazer on our cover.

Continuing, she says: “Whether it be finding a fulfilling career that pays fairly, developing happy and healthy relationships, or fighting for equality and respect, the topics Cosmopolitan has long championed are just as important now as they were in 1972.

“Whatever their sexuality, gender identity or background, Cosmopolitan will continue to empower our audience to demand more from the world around them, challenge the status quo and advocate for a diverse and inclusive world, free form prejudice. It’s in our name, after all.”  

The 50th-anniversary issue of Cosmopolitan UK is on sale from 21 January.

The Attitude February issue is out now. 

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £1 each, or digitally for just over £1.50 per issue.