In 2018, the Human Rights Campaign described anti-transgender violence in the US as “A National Epidemic”; the New York Times reported, “‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration”. In the UK, trans identities have been subject to similar attacks, with The Times publishing 323 largely critical articles on transgender rights and lives in 2018 alone. In response to the hostility, violence, and misunderstandings perpetrated against trans people, the UCL Grand Challenges programme (GCJE – Justice & Equality) has funded a one-day symposium to celebrate Trans Studies and Trans Lives.
This symposium seeks to recognize the difficult histories and structural issues faced by trans people, but also to ensure the present and future of trans people’s lives are not defined by oppression. We aim to showcase the endurance, joy, and creativity of the trans community with a selection of academic, autobiographical, and creative pieces on the theme of trans studies and trans lives.