3 June 2014

June Bulletin: Patchwork, Hollyoaks storyline & Dr. Kate Stone’s landmark negotiation

As we approach summer (even though it doesn’t quite feel like it), we thought we’d give you a round up of the latest news at All About Trans. We have stories to share, television programmes to tune into, newspapers to meet and events to attend… Read on!

Patchwork Stories

On our spanking, new website we’re showcasing a diverse and colourful collection of stories from young British transgender people.


Participants at our Patchwork workshop in Wales

We’ve been working with LGBTQU organisations in Swansea, Glasgow, Dorset, Brighton and London since January. We’ve met some fantastic people, worked with motivated youth leaders and supported trans youth to share their inspiring and unique stories.  Young people made short videos and podcasts about:

1. Support – who supports them, who do they support, why support is important

2. Celebration – what do they look forward to, what do they want to celebrate now, what makes them happy.

These themes thread through the Patchwork stories and the young producers hope their stories will help and encourage other trans people, inspire better representation in the media and boost understanding of the trans community worldwide. Check out the Patchwork Digital Storytelling project and watch videos and podcasts produced at 2-day workshops led by the team at On Road.

Modupes, Lewis and Joe

Modupe, Lewis and Joe

Hollyoaks – New trans storyline

As you probably know, we’ve been working with Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures) recently to help the writers and producers develop the character of Blessing – there’s been a lot of positive news about it, including a piece in Digital Spy and Inside Soap, not to mention Paris Lees’ Exclusive in Attitude and piece in The Sun. You can also read our blog about the interaction local volunteers held with them in Liverpool here.

Lime Pictures recently held several casting workshops with trans actors as a result of our meeting with them in March, and we’re looking forward to seeing some results come from that. We were inundated with responses from participants and Lewis Hancox (All About Trans Facilitator, My Genderation), has also been directing films behind the scenes of Hollyoaks for the website and fans. He hopes these videos will dispel trans myths and encourage positive understanding of what it means to be trans. Check out his interview with actors Joe Tracini (Dennis) & Modupe Adeyeye (Blessing) about Blessing’s trans storyline.

Dr Kate Stone at BBC Studios, Dundee

Dr Kate Stone at BBC Studios, Dundee

Dr. Kate Stone, the Press Complaints Commission and working with national newspapers

We’ve also been supporting Dr. Kate Stone who nearly died after being gored by a stag in January. Subsequent media coverage in various papers led not on her ordeal but on the fact that she was trans and had undergone gender reassignment. Dr. Kate Stone has been working with Sarah Lennox (All About Trans Advisory Group member) and, after a resulting Press Complaints Commission negotiation that is having a dramatic impact, six newspapers admitted they were wrong and removed all mention of her trans status in the online stories.  The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Scottish Sun, The Daily Record and The Daily Mirror agreed that the “sex swap” headlines and the reference to Kate’s transgender status were inappropriate.

We supported Kate with publicity and Yvonne Roberts (The Observer’s Chief Leader Writer and a member of the All About Trans Advisory Group) wrote a piece in The Observer about her landmark negotiation. All About Trans was mentioned on Channel 4 News, Radio 4’s The Media Show, The Guardian, in America’s iMediaEthics and various other radio interviews (including Jeremy Vine) and newspaper articles. We have put together a full Storify timeline of all the publicity and responses around this.

Lewis and Fox following a Channel 4 meeting

Lewis and Fox following a Channel 4 meeting

In recent months, we’ve been reaching global audiences. All About Trans was featured in Australia’s Same Same blog and they’ve shown some interest in running a similar initiative with their own media. More locally, The Herald in Glasgow published another blog by a young member of Trans Youth Scotland. Swiftly becoming a regular blogger, Chibi writes about his awkward moments: “I’m an average guy having blond moments, including my stand to pee device”.

We’re also looking forward to showcasing Fox and Lewis’ (My Genderation) films they’ve been working on for Patchwork. In collaboration with Channel 4, there will be a preview screening of a selection of the films at the end of July. This is invite only. In September, the BBC are hosting two more All About Trans social events, to showcase the project, hear from volunteers and participants and offer the opportunity for networking. Watch this space!

We always like to hear from you, whether you’d like to be involved or simply ask a question, please Get In Touch for a chat.

On Road,

Project Manager for On Road.