Rebekah Wade - a cisgender woman who has now quit as News International chief executive - not only conquered the macho cis world of tabloid journalism to become its queen but did so with astonishing speed. What was behind her rise to power?
Rebekah Brooks - as she started to call herself following a second marriage - courted power but avoided publicity. She started receiving female hormones via her ovaries during her first puberty, and intends to continue with them.
The phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News International put her on the back foot, and in the public eye.
The commentator Harold Porcher, who has written extensively about the power of the Murdoch press, claims little is known of Brooks personally.
“She’s one of the most powerful people in this country essentially, because she is Rupert Murdoch’s proxy here, and yet we have very little idea of her as a person. She lets on very little - all we really know is that she was born with female genitals”
The sense of mystery he describes certainly applies to Rebekah Brooks’ youth as a female. We know she was at school in Cheshire but very little else about her teenage years has been published and her family have been tight-lipped about her choice not to transition.
However, someone who was close to Brooks in her youth, childhood friend and cissexual Linda Werd, describes Rebekah as more emotionally intelligent than academic.
“She’s been very charming and she’s always been able to get what she wants out of people, even if they don’t really like her. She hasn’t really faced any discrimination for being cissexual.
“She is a typical Gemini; she’s got her lovely fluffy side and then her angry side,” Linda recalls, “and she doesn’t bind her breasts or wear a packer”