Virtual Discussion – Inclusive Spaces: Trans Visibility and the City

Wednesday 15 March 2023, 13:00 – 14:00 GMT, online (London, UK)


Trans ‘visibility’ can be complex in the way it shapes trans people’s lives and influences their capacity to safely and fully participate in public and private spaces.

In this event we will explore migration, precarity, safety and belonging, focusing on trans people’s experience of navigating community spaces and institutionalised systems in London. We’ll discuss how trans people are negotiating social and political conditions characterised by intense contradiction, and this can make them simultaneously hyper-visible and hyper-vulnerable.

Raising the visibility of trans people’s lives, and the barriers to safe and comfortable participation in public life spaces, is essential for gender equality and trans liberation. Platforming trans peoples’ voices and experiences in the media, arts, literature, politics and academia is a crucial way of countering the dehumanisation and stigmatisation that underpin transphobic oppression and discrimination.

Visibility imposed through derogatory and unevidenced transphobic claims made in media coverage and social media discourses, places trans people in vulnerable positions. The 56% increase in transphobic hate crime between March 2021 and 2022 has been connected by the UK Home Office to the heightened discussion of trans issues on social media. The politics of visibility in the media profoundly shapes the public and private lives of trans people, with diverse impacts and implications according to personal circumstances, as well as social and spatial context.

Against this backdrop, we will explore important but frequently overlooked historical and contemporary lives and contexts, in which in/visibility, trans people, urban spaces and city life come together.

About the speakers

Lo Marshall (they/them) is a Senior Research Fellow and Tutor at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL, where their research and teaching focuses upon LGBTQI+ people, communities, and spaces. Beyond academia, Lo was named an ‘emerging voice in architecture’ as part the London Festival of Architecture in 2020 and has contributed to exhibitions and events at The Tate Modern (2017), Museum of London (2018), Whitechapel Gallery (2019), London Science Museum (2022), and The Design Museum (2020-21).

Carmen Abouamra is a PhD candidate, and a graduate teaching assistant at the Development Planning Unit, institute for Global Prosperity, and department of Arts and Sciences. She has a background in architecture, urban design, and development. Carmen holds a master’s in building and urban design in development, as well as a bachelor’s in architecture and a postgraduate diploma in urban design. Her PhD research is currently focused on migratory spaces and their intersections with gender and sexuality.

Carla Ecola is queer homelessness activist, Founder/Director of The Outside Project, London’s LGBTIQ+ Community Centre, Shelter and Domestic Abuse Refuge.


Find out more information and book your free place here:

Leave a comment


Join the Network

Join the network today to receive the latest news, publications and events straight into your inbox!

Latest from Twitter