Inaugural Trans+ History Week spotlights authentic representation

Inaugural Trans+ History Week spotlights authentic representation

“Always been here, always will be.”

Not-for-profit publisher QueerAF has kicked off the inaugural Trans+ History Week with a country-wide ad campaign emphasising the trans+ community’s role and visibility throughout history.

The campaign was developed by a team of trans+ volunteers and allies led by Smarty Pants Consultancy, founded by Outvertising joint CEO Marty Davies. Uncharted Studio, co-founded this year by chief creative officer Laura Jordan Bambach, and WPP-owned Hogarth were also consulted on the project.

“Everyone is talking about trans+ people, but few trans+ people are able to tell our own stories,” said Davies, who helped found Trans+ History Week. “That’s what Trans+ History Week is here to do.”

They continued: “We’ve seen attacks on trans+ people in ads over the past year as mis/disinformation demonise our community. But trans+ people deserve to see themselves represented authentically in media and that includes in our advertising.”

Content series

In the spirit of the “always been here, always will be” tagline, the week aims to display the history of trans+ people from the past through to today via a content series developed by QueerAF and accessed through a QR code displayed on the ads.

The series includes a London-based live podcast recording featuring Sex Education actors Felix Mufti and Anthony Lexa. Additional commissioned content include stories about Hijra communities in India, the first-ever transgender conference in the UK and the portrayal of trans+ individuals in TV and film.

The OOH ads feature a series of “joyful photographs” in a zine-like aesthetic in public spaces in major cities including Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle.

Media was donated by Ocean Outdoor, Open Media and Metro through Talon and Havas Media Network UK, with areas of high footfall and visibility such as Westfield, Wembley and large train stations chosen to maximise reach.

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No silver bullet

“Trans+ History Week was born out of a QueerAF article that quickly became a tool for people to shut down misinformation that — as studies have long disproved — being transgender is not a ‘social contagion’,” commented QueerAF founder Jamie Wareham.

“Information is everything. It helps us reach and justify conclusions. But the information ecosystem is failing all of us. We live in a saturated world of doomscrolling and constant media. Online, digital, mobile, it bombards us wherever we are. But it doesn’t reflect us and is harming the LGBTQIA+ community and all of our ability to do good in the world.

“We’ve trusted trans+ creative talent on the content we’ve commissioned for this initiative because, though there are no silver bullets in DEI strategy, hiring and listening to the community you want to serve is as close to finding one as you’ll get.”

Other supporters

The inaugural events are being sponsored by Clifford Chance, Verizon Business, Deloitte UK, Reddit and NQ64. Additional funds were secured via a crowdfunding campaign, which raised over £4,600 at the time of publication.

Trans+ History Week is also being supported by a number of LGBTQIA+ organisations and media, including: Consortium, Diva, Gendered Intelligence, Hidayah LGBT, Just Like Us, LGBT Foundation, LGBT+ History Month, London Trans+ Pride, My Genderation, myGwork, Not A Phase, PinkNews, Queer Britain, Stonewall, Switchboard LGBT+, Trans Actual UK, Trans Pride Brighton, Trans Pride Manchester and UK Black Pride.

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