Transgender Pasts and Futures
  • University of Plymouth

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This event brought together trans individuals born before the 1970s and younger people from today’s generation of gender-diverse individuals in a safe and supportive environment. 

The event offered participants a chance to share their lived experiences of growing-up trans. By sharing experiences of rejection, regulation, resistance and recognition across the generations, this small event aimed to affirm a new generations’ right to flourish in ways that were not possible in the past.

Despite some progress - evident through increased awareness and acknowledgement of trans and other gender-diverse individuals in the UK today - the public debate around trans identity has in many ways failed to keep pace with research, and has instead perpetuated historic gender stereotypes. These stereotypes - reminiscent of 1950s interpretations of sex and gender - reduce individuals' lives to matters of physical transition, and ignore the wider issues that impact upon individuals in harmful ways.

This event drew on recent research undertaken by Dr Katie McBride at the University of Plymouth, which looked at the social harms experienced by trans individuals. Participation in the seminar was by invitation only. 

Feedback from the event included:

“Excellent event with some wonderful guest speakers allowed students to understand the importance of history and also gave them an opportunity to voice their concerns about gender diverse issues in the 21st century.”

“I now have a deeper understanding and insight regarding trans/gender diverse. I will be able to use my learning to inform policy and practise here at school and within my personal life also.”

“It’s encouraging to know that older trans people have experienced what I have been through and have succeeded in life.”

“It has helped me be aware that although my friends might be struggling as they become teenagers and young adults, I know how to be there for them and support them.”

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