What do you need to feel like your true self? In this section we hear from young trans and non-binary people who want to create positive change and support other young people to have a better experience than theirs. Here we can read the experiences of the young people who took part in our Trans Youth Commission. We can see calendar pages crossing off days waiting for an appointment with a gender specialist. There are stories of hope, joy, love and struggles. There are some young people still unable to share their true selves- instead there are a series of self-portraits in which young people created the versions of themselves they could be if they didn’t need to feel scared.

Trans Youth Commission 2023 Round Up

Graphic Facilitation created by Jules Scheele to record the progress of the Trans Youth Commission who worked on the Gender Recognition Reform in 2022/2023. This artwork was created before the intervention of Westminster in 2023.

Edinburgh Pride Youth Space, 2023

Banners created for pride by LGBT Youth Scotland’s young people.

The Joy of Figuring it Out

Elliot, 23, Perth

An interview with a young trans man in Perth, December 2023.

 

 

Topics: helping others, meeting other trans people, alternative living, arts, community, role models, queerness and strength

 

 

Click to play, or listen to the full playlist on Soundcloud

Being Queer Is The Best Thing That’s Ever Happened To Me

Jasper, 18, Perth

 

Topics: friendship and joy, community, uniqueness, hopes and dreams, pride.

 

Click to play, or listen to the full playlist on Soundcloud

Potato Portraits

Dundee, September 2023

In September a group of young people from Dundee decided they wanted to share their stories and contribute something to the archives, however it was important to them to be able to stay completely anonymous. A young person suggested they make a self portrait using potatoes and the results were surprisingly poignant. The potatoes may be long gone, but their memory lives on!

Gender Identity Potatoes

Legion

What will your potato be called?
Legion (he/him)
How does your potato represent you?
He is eternally confused about identity and personality, is shy and non- speaking
What is your potato’s personality?
He is shy/ non-speaking
What are your hopes/ dreams for your potato?
I want him to find himself and be able to learn to talk to people again.
In 100 years what would you want people to know about your potato?
He’s an accurate representation of how society can shun and silence young LGBTQ+ people, and make it hard for them to know who they are.

Legion Potato

Arlo

What will your potato be called?
Arlo (they/them)
How does your potato represent you?
I gave my potato short hair because I really want to cut my hair short and dye it red.
What is you favourite thing about your potato?
That it represents me how I want to be in the future because it is care free.
What is your potato’s personality?
A lot more confident in themselves.
What are your hopes/ dreams for your potato?
For it to have some little tater tots. And not to care about what people say about them.

Gender Identity Arlo Potato

Sarah

What will your potato be called?
Sarah (she/her)
How does your potato represent you?
She has a killer mullet which is iconic and she is super hench. She also has a mushrooms on her top because we love mushrooms here in this group.
What is you favourite thing about your potato?
That she is unique and even though her hair is messy she is still beautiful.
What is your potato’s personality?
She is confident and very happy within herself and unapologetically herself. But also kind of scary looking.
What are your hopes/ dreams for your potato?
Hopefully she doesn’t rot too soon. I just hope she is happy.
In 100 years what would you want people to know about your potato?
That a lot of effort was put into her.

Gender Identity Sarah Potato

Potatobelle & Pal

What will your potato be called?
Potatobelle (She/Her)
How does your potato represent you?
She is holding a coffee cup and has a manic look in her eye. She’s filled with carbs and a bit knobbly.
What is you favourite thing about your potato?
I really love the halo and the fact she’s holding a sloth, because I love sloths.
What are your hopes/ dreams for your potato?
I want her to continue to be unapologetically herself even when people think she’s weird.
In 100 years what would you want people to know about your potato?
I want people to know the effort and creativity that went into Potatobelle. I really feel we all worked together to make our potatoes.

Gender Identity Potatobelle Potato

Ayshah

What will your potato be called?
Ayshah (she/her, he/him)
How does your potato represent you?
Its pink! I like pink. It looks a bit like a spider and I don’t like spiders but I like the idea of spiders, I don’t like them when they are near me.
What is you favourite thing about your potato?
Just pink! I really like pink.
What is your potato’s personality?
Annoying, just a little bit annoying.
What are your hopes/ dreams for your potato?
Don’t die ideally.

Gender Identity Aysha Potato

Kenneth the Unicorn

Kenneth has all the pronouns. Kenneth lives with our Dundee group who won him in a contest but is a favourite across all our groups. Kenneth goes on lots of adventures, including attending Pride marches across the country.


“I first met Kenneth at Perthshire Pride, but he has played a big role in lots of different prides. He had an especially important job at Edinburgh Pride one year when he led the march.”


Kenneth picks up new badges and pronouns at every event, and one year the group campaigned to get Kenneth a pair of pants

Gender Identity Kenneth

51 Months and Counting

Triangle Youth Group Member, Age 24

“The trans healthcare system is broken. It has been 51 months, or 1,529 days, since I put myself on the waiting list to be seen by a gender specialist. Not the list for receiving medicine, or receiving surgeries, just the list to even see the first doctor. For many, that waiting time is too much. The system has failed us. The aim of this piece is to show the viewer just how long I have waited, and to show just how much the system fails to address the needs of all transgender people. It shows just how much time and patience goes into a transgender persons journey. 51 weeks is not the end of the journey. The waiting list has stalled. It has remained in the same place for nearly two years.”

 

This is a photograph of pages from a young person’s calendar, marking the amount of time that has passed since they put themselves on the waitlist to see a gender specialist. Each cross marks another day that has passed without medical care. Amongst the days crossed off on the calender are moments of everyday life. A birthday, a special occasion.  Kayleigh is pictured below with her art.

Wanted

Ro, Scottish Queer International Film Festival, 26.9.2023

Trans is OK 

Poster from the LGBT Youth Scotland Glasgow Youth Space

Clothes Don’t Define Gender

Poster from the LGBT Youth Scotland Glasgow Youth Space

 

Young Person’s Story

Involved Youth Group, Selkirk, EM, 5th July 2023, 5th July 2023

LGBT History Month: QOTA

In February 2020, we teamed up a group of young trans activists (now known as QOTA) with the geniuses at Capital Theatres to devise a powerful piece of performance art for a Scottish Parliament Reception we hosted to mark LGBT History Month.

This is a new digital revisiting of the live performance that stunned our guests that night. Heartfelt thanks to Capital Theatres and the QOTA team for their work on this.

Braver

 Edinburgh Pride 2023. 

Illustrations by Seán Casey, design by Chris Newton.

Remember the Feeling

Quote from Highland Pride 2023.

Illustrations by Seán Casey, design by Chris Newton.

 

Faith

 Maegen, Edinburgh Pride 2023

Illustrations by Seán Casey, design by Chris Newton.

Moments of Joy

Anonymous

Illustrations by Seán Casey, design by Chris Newton.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff 

Jo, 27 She/Her, Mardi-Gla.

Illustrations by Seán Casey, design by Chris Newton.

Share your story

This exhibition is an organic thing – an accessible archive space where you can tell or show us what life is like for you. You are so welcome here and we’d love you to feel a part of what we are doing. 

 

 

What do you need to feel like your true self? If you want to add your experiences of exploring or sharing your gender identity
to our archive, please use our submission portal here

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