UCL Grand Challenges


The Past, Present and Future of Trans Studies and Trans Lives

The Past, Present and Future of Trans Studies and Trans Lives

Participants at symposium

3 October 2018


Grant: Grand Challenges Special Initiatives
Year awarded: 2018-19
Amount awarded: £2,482


  • Christine Xine Yao, Department of English Language and Literature, Arts & Humanities 
  • Ella Metcalfe, Department of Natural Sciences, Maths & Physical Sciences

This colloboration put on UCL's first interdisciplinary trans symposium that brought together international researchers on trans studies with trans artists and writers. This was a collaboration drawing upon both OUT@UCL and qUCL: rarely do LGBTQ events address both the academic and the experiential. In doing so the project team created a space for a community that has statistically higher likelihood of experiencing assault and harassment in everyday life, at school, and in the workplace. This was also a forum for cis people to learn more about the richness of trans histories, activism, and lives so as to be better allies.  

The symposium allowed attendees and presenters to network and build a better sense of community. The event drew staff, faculty, postgrads and undergraduate students; and also non-academic members of the community attended. Of note, Edward Lord OBE who is on the City of London's Establishment Committee were in attendance. Attendance was roughly about 90 people. 

Another impact arising, was a follow-on Beacon Bursary grant application for a series of workshops for trans and nonbinary writers. The project team also had a chance to reflect on the symposium at a followup roundtable for UCL Culture. 

Outputs and Impact