Over the last five years, transgender people have seemed to burst into the public eye: Time declared 2014 a ‘trans tipping point’, while American Vogue named 2015 ‘the year of trans visibility’. From our television screens to the ballot box, transgender people have suddenly become part of the zeitgeist.
This apparently overnight emergence, though, is just the latest stage in a long and varied history. The renown of Paris Lees and Hari Nef has its roots in the efforts of those who struggled for equality before them, but were met with indifference – and often outright hostility – from mainstream society.
Trans Britain chronicles this journey in the words of those who were there to witness a marginalised community grow into the visible phenomenon we recognise today: activists, film-makers, broadcasters, parents, an actress, a rock musician and a priest, among many others.
Here is everything you always wanted to know about the background of the trans community, but never knew how to ask.
"A vital record of how we got to where we are. Inspirational!"
"Profound, quiet, agitated and deeply moving ... a powerful reminder that when we enjoy rights and equalities we do so because of the sacrifices of the generation before us"
"Warm, compassionate, inspiring. A much-needed antidote to media scaremongering, and a vital lesson in how to effect change"
"Bloody good. Meticulously researched history of the collective transgender “journey” in the UK over the last century. Read it"
The oft overlooked history of the trans community is chronicled in Trans Britain. To mark Women's History Month, we celebrate five heroic transgender trailblazers from an androgynous 18th Century cross-dressing spy to the trans woman who transitioned on television