Stephen Whittle is most notable for being the co-founder of Press For Change, a prominent UK lobbying organisation for trans people.
He was born in Manchester in 1955, and began transition in 1974 at the age of 19. When he had surgery shortly afterwards, he was the 13th female-to-male trans person in the country to have had treatment.
After being turned down for teacher training for being trans, and hounded out of numerous jobs when his trans status was discovered, Whittle trained as a lawyer and founded Press for Change in 1992.
Whittle and his now-wife, Sarah, took a case to the European Court of Human Rights for the right of trans people to marry, and for non-biologically related family members to be recognised legally. Their case was successful, and went on to form the Gender Recognition Act, which came in to force in 2005. The Act allowed trans people in the UK to change their birth certificates and marry.
Whittle became the legal father of his children in 2006. He now works as a professor in Equalities Law at Manchester Metropolitan University.
In 2005, he was awarded an OBE for ‘services to gender issues’.
Check out more trans history on Gendered Intelligence’s ‘Trans History’ tag.
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