Caroline Paige  On Track With Forces Radio BFBS Twitter

Caroline Paige: The Inspirational Story Of The First Transgender Officer To Serve Openly

“If I had just given up and said right, I’m leaving to transition… I would never have known that they would have accepted me.”

Caroline Paige  On Track With Forces Radio BFBS Twitter

The UK Armed Forces' first openly transgender officer has been talking about the challenges of military service and her struggle to choose between the Royal Air Force or living life as her true self.

Caroline Paige enjoyed a 35-year career with the RAF as both a jet and helicopter navigator.

In this Forces Radio BFBS Special, she talks to Mike Howarth about her personal and professional life, playing the songs that mean so much to her.

LISTEN: On Track With Caroline Paige

On Track With Caroline Paige Mike Howarth LGBTQ Month Forces Radio BFBS

She takes us on an emotional journey, from one of her earliest recollections of gender identity – when she was caught by her father, a former Royal Artillery Sergeant, wearing one of her sister’s dresses as a child, to the happier side of her teenage years and joining the air cadets.

We hear how she flew F4 Phantoms as a navigator in the Air Defence role during the Cold War in her twenties and about her time on tour in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Her story tells us how she struggled to decide whether she should leave the Royal Air Force in order to transition, or stay in a job she loved and live life to other people’s expectations.

We hear how the RAF reacted to her transition and the strain it had on relationships with family and friends.

Buckle up, sit back and hear an incredible story from a truly inspirational woman.

Cover Photo: @caz_paige

Get the BFBS App

You can listen to all of Forces Radio BFBS' stations and streams anywhere, anytime using our app for Apple or Android mobile devices.
Get it on Google Play