Subscribe to our weekly round-up of the LGBTQIA+ world and support queer creatives to kick start their career 🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍🌈

"Always Been Here, Always Will Be" - QueerAF and Trans+ History Week launch national billboard campaign
What we do Trans+ History Week

"Always Been Here, Always Will Be" - QueerAF and Trans+ History Week launch national billboard campaign


London, UK. May 06 2024 – The first-ever Trans+ History Week, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at educating and celebrating the rich history of transgender, non-binary, gender-diverse, and intersex individuals, is set to launch from the UK from May 6th to May 12th.

A QueerAF launchpad project, the initiative demonstrates the powerful history of Trans+ people from the forgotten past all the way up to the marches of today, spotlighting the often overlooked and momentous history of Trans+ communities.

Through a series of articles, podcasts and a lesson workbook created using academic research principles, Trans+ History Week provides the British public and a global community with a millennia-old history of Trans+ people and gender-diverse communities.

Stories which trace as far back as 2270 BCE in ancient Samir, contemporary Iraq where the earliest known author in human history, Enheduanna ascribed to goddess Inanna this great power to turn a man into a woman or a woman into a man.

A series of powerful joyful photographs in collage zine aesthetic will make Trans+ history visible in large public spaces across major cities in the UK such as Manchester, Liverpool, London and Newcastle and in the Metro nationwide.

The advertising campaign was created by a team of trans+ volunteers and allies led by Smarty Pants Consultancy, founded by Marty Davies with stewardship from Uncharted Studio, founded by Laura Jordan Bambach.

Each ad features a QR code that takes people to the official content created for the week.

The team has also been supported by the design team at Hogarth. Media has been contributed by Ocean, Open Media and Metro through Talon and Havas Media Network UK.

As part of the announcement, Trans+ History Week also marks May 06 as the official Trans+ History Day, to surface the moment in history of the 91st anniversary of the Nazi raid on the world's first trans clinic.

Days later it was the site of one of the Nazi’s largest and most infamous book burnings. Many British school children see photographs of this event, but don’t often hear about its connection to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Marty Davies (she/they) (Founder of Trans+ History Week CIC) said: “Everyone is talking about Trans+ people, but few Trans+ people are able to tell their own stories. That's what Trans+ History Week is here to do. Exactly a year ago, I found out I’d been denied important history about myself and my community. Learning that one of the most famous Nazi book burnings was at a trans clinic was a huge surprise to me. But it made me wonder why - if it’s an image we all saw in school, what else was denied to us? If we deny people their history, we deny them their humanity. Writing about this moment set me on a path to learn more and make our history accessible to everyone. 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.”

Trans+ History Week invests in Trans+ creative talent to share our gender-diverse history, highlighting the humanity of Trans+ communities across all nations, through all of time. 

Jamie Wareham (he/him) (Founder of QueerAF CIC) said:“Watching a QueerAF article about one of the first and most infamous Nazi book burnings taking place at the world's first sex and gender clinic and quickly becoming a regular tool used to shut down 'transgender trend' chatter online was fascinating. It was immediately evident we needed more stories, told in the same way - to do the same. That meant investing in Trans+ talent. The success of the first article, and the content since is a testament to the power of trusting people with lived experience to guide creative projects. We’re humbled to have powered the launch of Trans+ History Week into a Trans+ led and owned social enterprise as our first ever launchpad initiative as part of our mission to model the change we want to see in the industry, as the UK’s only regulated, non-profit LGBTQIA+ publisher”

Throughout the week, twenty emerging Trans+ creatives - who’ve been supported, given audio equipment to keep, and mentored by QueerAF across multiple commissioning schemes - will share their stories.

They spotlight global Trans+ history such as the Hijra communities of India, the first-ever Transgender conference in the UK, and the portrayal of Trans+ individuals in TV and film.

Clifford Chance, Verizon Business, Deloitte UK, Reddit and NQ64 have sponsored the week’s inaugural events, alongside donations provided via a crowdfunding campaign.

The initiative has also been supported by some of the UK’s largest LGBTQIA+ and Trans+ organisations and media since its launch including:

Stonewall, Gendered Intelligence, UK Black Pride, LGBT+ History Month, Not A Phase, Trans Pride Manchester, London Trans+ Pride, Trans Pride Brighton, Hidayah LGBT, Just Like Us, LGBT Foundation, Trans Actual UK, DIVA, PinkNews, Queer Britain, Switchboard LGBT+, My Genderation, myGwork and Consortium.

Trans+ History Week kicks off at a main event, in London on May 07 with a live podcast recording with the stars of Netflix’s Sex Education Felix Mufti and Anthony Lexa.

Jen Longstaff, Arcus UK Co-Chair the Clifford Chance LGBTQ+ network says:

“We are honoured to support Trans+ History Week as it aligns with our commitment to fostering an inclusive environment that respects and celebrates diversity. We are honoured to be part of this event as we recognise the importance of acknowledging and understanding the rich history and contributions of the trans and non-binary community. This support is a testament to our dedication to promote equality, both within our firm and the wider community. We believe that engaging with and supporting such events can help to educate and inspire, fostering a culture of inclusivity that benefits everyone.”

Xavier White - Head of EMEA Social Purpose and PRSIM Chair for EMEA & APAC at Verizon Business says:

“Being a part of the inaugural Trans+ History Week event is a huge honour for us at Verizon. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is key to the Human Prosperity pillar of our responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon. We empower every employee to embody these values, with Society being one of our four key stakeholders. At Verizon, we believe that the contributions of trans and non-binary people deserve acknowledgment and celebration."

Campaign image credits:

Sylvia Rivera in 1970: Roseleechs - Own Work. CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED, Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Intersex earthenware figure: Ecuador around 100BC – 100ADCollection of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University; 2006.070.020. CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED. Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International.

FTM Magazine: UVIC Libraries Collection

Seal of Inanna: Seal of Inanna, 2350-2150 BCE, Ancient Akkadian cylinder seal depicting Inanna resting her foot on the back of a lion while Ninshubur stands in front of her paying obeisance, c. 2334 – c. 2154 BC. Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Sailko, CC BY 3.0  Wikimedia Commons

Bex Wade photos: Photo: Sign at The Dyke Project counter protest, 2023, by Bex Wade (they/them) 

Louis Sullivan: “Scan from Lou Sullivan’s diaries showing Sullivan with his brother, August 1979”. From Louis Graydon Sullivan papers (#1991-07). Courtesy of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

Marsha P Johnson: Marsha P. Johnson 1970s (cropped).jpg, created: 1970s CC Public Domain

Mercurius: CC Public Domain

Badge: LGBTQ Archives

Hatshepsut: Hatshepsut. (2024, April 23). In WikipediaCC Public Domain

Indian 3rd Gender: From the British Library Archive/Bridgeman Images

Felicia A. Elizondo: Felicia A. Elizondo at a hotel in Chicago in 1969. (Courtesy of Felicia A. Elizondo)