The Museum of Transology is a wonderful encouraging initiative. It is hosted by Brighton Museums in England (at least until April 2019) and includes a wide range of artefacts, photos and video material, amounting to the largest collection representing transgender people in the world. Crucially this representation from trans people themselves, emerging from trans community members in Brighton. This makes a vital difference. For too much of what is produced representing trans people, even by sympathetic allies (even sometimes LGB ones) falls short or distorts the realities of trans lives and issues. Admittedly things are continuing to improve in many quarters. Led by groups such as the fashion industry, a gradual increase in public representation is occurring (both in numbers and variety of trans people). Occasionally a trans person, rather than cisgender celebrity, is also now actually chosen to play a trans part in a production. Yet trans people are still spoken about, objectified in extraordinary ways, and not allowed to represent ourselves in so many places and critical debates. Museums have similarly typically colluded with this silencing, exoticising and obscuring, where they have considered trans people at all. In contrast, with great credit to Brighton, the Museum of Transology offers a hugely welcome breakthrough of authenticity, identity and ownership...
The Revd Dr Jo Inkpin: