The actress opens up to Playboy about being outed as a transgender woman in the 1980s

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Credit: Courtesy Playboy

Former model Caroline “Tula” Cossey, who broke barriers when she became the first transgender woman to have her own pictorial in Playboy magazine in 1991, says she was “shocked” by Caitlyn Jenner‘s transition.

The 60-year-old tells Playboy in the magazine’s July/August issue that she was surprised when Jenner came out to the world.

Cossey, who made her onscreen debut as a Bond girl alongside Roger Moore in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, was later outed as transgender by British tabloid News of the World.

Despite her September 1991 pictorial in the magazine, the star later became a self-described “recluse.”

“There’s a difference between being known as Tula the transsexual international model versus just a successful model,” she says of avoiding media interviews for nearly 20 years. “It wasn’t the same. I felt like a circus act.”

The Brit, who now resides in Atlanta, says she understands what Jenner, formerly known as Bruce, is going through.

“[She’s] been such an incredible athlete and hero, with all those raging male hormones running through [her] body,” she tells the magazine. “[She’s] obviously going through a lot of pain and suffering. I hope [she] finds [her] happiness, but it’s going to be tough.”

The former actress, who did the interview before Jenner debuted as Caitlyn, says she also hopes the star doesn’t rush into any physical operations.

“I’ve seen and heard so many horror stories of people going through surgery, becoming miserable and killing themselves because it was not the right step for them,” she says. “And it’s a painful surgery.”

Cossey, who still struggles with feeling like a “second-class citizen,” says she prays Jenner “gets the right counseling.”

“[She’s] in a public situation going through something so sensitive” she tells Playboy.

The star, who released a memoir about her experiences in 1991 called My Story, says she was bullied and didn’t fit in while growing up.

“When I look back at it all, what I went through was tragic,” she says. “But how do you deal with pain? You shrug it off. That s the British way of doing it, at least.”

The July/August issue of Playboy hits newsstands on June 26.

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