100 years
of transgender rights

On International Transgender Day of Visibility, we explore how trans rights
have improved over the last century — and listen to people's personal experiences along the way.

By Lydia Smith and Laura Davis;
Visuals: Daniele Palumbo;
Video: James Lillywhite

Introduction

Transgender voices are louder than ever thanks to public figures like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner, and policy changes have enshrined trans rights for the first time in history. This hasn't always been the case, though - it has been a long and rocky road for trans rights.


Over the last 100 years, social, political and legislative changes have transformed the landscape for trans representation and visibility in Britain and the US.


On International Transgender Day of Visibility, here is an overview of how times have changed — and how they are continuing to do so.


Click through the timeline below and scroll down to see the history of transgender rights and listen to the stories of people along the way.


1900s-1940s
Ruth's Story
1950s-1960s
Sophie's Story
1970s-1980s
Shaan's Story
1990s-2000s
Student story
2010s-Today