Suranne Jones and Maya Jama join project to honour ‘gender rebels’

Anneka Harry’s book is to be released next year.
Anneka Harry’s book is to be released next year.

Suranne Jones and Maya Jama have joined a literary project to shine a light on the lives of women.

They have recorded for an audiobook version of Gender Rebels: 50 Influential Cross-Dressers, Impersonators, Name-Changers, And Game-Changers.

Anneka Harry wrote the book, which outlines the lives of radical women from history who forged new roles and expectations for their gender.

Maya Jama
Maya Jama has lent her voice to the project (Ian West/PA)

Gentleman Jack star Jones has hailed the “courageous” figures in the book, and lends her voice to tell some of their stories.

Presenter Jama has urged young girls to listen to the inspirational chronicle of female achievement.

She said: “I believe that young women can succeed, no matter where they started from.

“But girls need to believe in themselves and what they can achieve, which is why I want everyone to listen to Gender Rebels and learn about the people who grabbed life by the balls, girls who hustled, broke the rules, and smashed it.”

She read the story of June Tarpe Mills, the first female action hero comic character creator, and Florence “Pancho” Barnes, a stunt pilot.

Jones, who recently played Anne Lister, a 19th century diarist who detailed her same sex relationships, narrates the life of Joan of Arc for the audiobook.

She said: “Gentleman Jack has given me an insight into how powerful these stories can be.

“Many of the women in Gender Rebels had no choice but to disguise their gender, often risking their lives in the process.

“They were extremely courageous and that alone is inspiring.”

Presenter Gemma Cairney also lends her voice to the all-female celebrity line-up of narrators for the audiobook.

It set to be released on June 1 next year.