First Annual Trans+ History Week in Britain

First Annual Trans+ History Week in Britain

A collection of billboards across major cities in the UK are celebrating Trans+ History Week through Sunday as part of a QueerAF initiative

This week in Britain, Trans+ History Week honors trans and gender fluid representations throughout history. Piloted by QueerAF, the first ever event of its kind explores how transgender people have appeared throughout history. 

QueerAF is a platform supporting LGBTQIA+ creatives to build a career in media, and their most recent project celebrates the history of trans, non-binary, intersex and gender-diverse people. The colorful Billboards were displayed in cities including Manchester, Liverpool, London, and Newcastle and feature the words “Always been here. Always will be” in large letters according to Pink News. The billboards also include a QR code for viewers to scan for more information. 

The founder of Trans+ History Week, Marty Davies, wants to bring attention to the historical existence of transgender people. Meanwhile, writer and activist, Eli Erlick, has shed light on trans history around the world by posting archival images on X. In February of 2023, Erlick posted a series of images of trans and gender-diverse people from the early 20th century in attempts to keep their history alive. Erlick colorized black and white images to give more life to the personal histories of the photographs’ subjects. 

“The misconception Stonewall Rioters were all white gay cis men is partially due to B&W photography. Sure, it was mostly gay cis men who patroned Stonewall, but it was indisputably started by a Black drag king (Stormé DeLarverie) and fought by a multiracial, multi-gender group,” Erlick writes. 

Also According to Pink News, Erlick has found through her research that trans people in the 19th and 20th centuries were treated relatively “well” compared to the rhetoric surrounding trans and gender-diverse identities now. 

“If we deny people their history, we deny them their humanity,” said Davies. “We have created space for all of us to stand joyfully in our present with our hands wrapped around our past. Using this knowledge to steel us as we carve out a better future.”

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