The story of James Miranda Barry is a fascinating one: Born Margaret Bulkley, she lived her entire life as a man so she could study and practice medicine. She became a prominent surgeon who spent her groundbreaking career championing the rights of the lower classes and pushing for medical reforms and better sanitary conditions.
After becoming an army surgeon and beginning work as a medical assistant in Cape Town, Barry was promoted to the role of personal physician to Governor Lord Charles Somerset. This appointment led to Somerset supporting Barry's often controversial work, and to a close and eventually scandalous relationship with Somerset, which was widely viewed to be homosexual in nature.
While in Cape Town, Barry performed one of the first known successful caesarian sections, saving the lives of both mother and child. Barry's true gender was not discovered until her death in 1865.