First trans cover star for the WI’s magazine: Petra, 74, graces publication cover and says she is ‘honoured’ to raise awareness about transgender issues

  • In a first, Petra Wenham, 74, has appeared in the July/August magazine WI Life
  • Miss Wenham, who has two children and two grandchildren, came out in 2015
  • A member of of the Ipswich Cake and Revolution WI she gave talks to WI groups 

A transgender woman has been chosen as the cover star of the Women’s Institute membership magazine.

In a first for the organisation, Petra Wenham, 74, appears in the July/August edition of WI Life, which is delivered to 200,000 members.

She said she felt ‘accepted and honoured’ to be given the chance to raise awareness about transgender issues. 

In a first for the organisation, Petra Wenham, right, 74, appears in the July/August edition of WI Life

Miss Wenham, who has two children and two grandchildren, came out to her wife Loraine in 2015 at the age of 68

‘WI members are not just accepting but actively supportive and are welcoming me to the sisterhood,’ she said.

Miss Wenham, who has two children and two grandchildren, came out to her wife Loraine in 2015 at the age of 68 and began living as a woman full-time three years later.

A member of Cake and Revolution WI in Ipswich, she began giving talks to WI groups and community organisations about the mental impact of growing up as a trans person, sexual assault statistics and intersex conditions.

Miss Wenham, a cybersecurity expert, said: ‘I have an opportunity to knock the myths out of the way. 

‘It’s a big problem, there’s a lot of misinformation. 

‘I’m very fortunate that I still have my wife Loraine and we’ve been happily married for 48 years. She’s my rock.’

Cake and Revolution president Emma Ruddy said Miss Wenham has given members the chance to ‘learn more about transgender women through her open and honest discussions’.

The WI adopted a policy on trans women in the early 2000s, when it stated they ‘further our objectives and enrich our membership’.

Melissa Green, general secretary of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, said: ‘Not only are trans women welcome to join the WI but they are celebrated.’

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