First-ever Trans+ History Week event reminds world that trans people have always been here

Train strikes didn’t deter hundreds of trans folks and their allies from journeying to central London for the inaugural Trans+ History Week community event this week.

The first-ever Trans+ History Week is taking place this week from Monday 6 May to Sunday 12 May.

The QueerAF launchpad project is a period of time dedicated to learning about and celebrating history of trans, non-binary, gender-diverse and intersex people.

Across the seven-day celebration, Trans+ History Week endeavours to provide the public with millennia-old history lessons about trans+ people and gender-diverse communities through a series of articles, podcasts and a workbook created using academic research principles.

Felix Mufti, Anthony Lexa, Kenny Ethan Jones, Jamie Wareham and Marty Davies at the Trans+ History Week 2024 Community Event on May 7, 2024 in London, England. (James Klug/Getty Images)

On Tuesday (7 May), a community event was hosted at Clifford Chance in Canary Wharf and featured a speeches, a live podcast recording, activist panel and networking.

Marty Davies, founder of Trans+ History Week, introduced the event by jokingly saying they “asked the universe for trans rights, but it misunderstood and gave us train strikes”.

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Davies used their opening speech to praise the support Trans+ History Week has received across the country from organisations such as Milton Keynes Pride, Wolverhampton Student Union’s LGBT book club and Cheshire’s scouts.

Davies was also elated to note – as a “politics geek” – that an Early Day Motion was tabled by Labour MP Kate Osborne to mark the week and the event’s social media channels had been followed by I Kissed A Girl host and all round iconic ally, Dannii Minogue.

    The podcast recording saw Sex Education‘s Felix Mufti and Anthony Lexa interviewed by Kenny Ethan Jones, where they discussed growing up trans, their careers and what it was like to portray a groundbreaking trans sex scene on TV.

    Following this, a panel comprised of Jude Guaitamacchi, Sabah Choudrey and Roz Kaveney – and moderated by ex-Stonewall CEO Nancy Kelley – examined the current situation for the trans community, with poignant reflections on activism of the past.

    Jude Guaitamacchi, Sabah Choudrey and Roz Kaveney during the Trans+ History Week pannel (James Klug/Getty Images))

    Alongside the in-person events, articles and artwork will go live on QueerAF throughout the week from twenty emerging trans+ creatives who will also share their stories. These creatives were supported, given audio equipment to keep and mentored by QueerAF across multiple commissioning schemes.

    If you are out and about in cities such as London, Manchester and Newcastle, you might also spot one of the powerful billboards which make trans history visible to the public.

    The large, vertical billboards – which have a colourful, collage zine aesthetic – have the words ‘ALWAYS BEEN HERE. ALWAYS WILL BE” written in large font and feature a QR code which people can scan for more information.