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Discrete CollectionsHall-Carpenter Archives
TitlePapers of Stephen Thomas Whittle (1955-), trans activist
Extent48 boxes and 2 posters
Admin Biographical HistoryProfessor Stephen Whittle was born in Manchester on 29 May 1955.

His activism began in 1973 when he joined the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (identifying as a lesbian at that time) and, in 1974, he co-founded the Manchester Lesbian Group - a radical group which was involved in setting up the first Manchester Women's Refuge.

He announced that he was a man soon afterwards, transitioned from female to male in 1975, and obtained reassignment surgery in 1979.

In 1985 he decided to undergo legal training in order to challenge the discrimination he and other trans people experienced. Studying at first through a part time law degree, he graduated in 1990 and then achieved an MA (researching "Crime, Deviance and Social Policy"). In 1995 he gained his PhD for research on "The law and transsexuals" and became a full time lecturer in the School of Law at Manchester Metropolitan University.

He founded the UK's FTM Network in 1989 and co-founded the lobbying group Press for Change (PFC) in 1992. PFC's campaigns resulted in several major case law successes at the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, which have led to significant legal changes since the mid-1990s. Its parliamentary lobbying work helped bring about the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2010.

To be legally recognised as a father, Whittle brought his own legal case against the government to the European Court of Human Rights (X, Y and Z v UK). The case was heard in 1997, but the court did not rule in his favour.

He has worked with many governments and campaign groups both in the UK and internationally (for example, he was President of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, 2007-9).

He is one of the UK's leading academic legal experts for trans people, becoming Professor in Equalities Law at Manchester Metropolitan University. His publications include "Respect and equality: transsexual and transgender rights" (2002) and (with Susan Stryker) "The transgender studies reader" (2006 and 2013).

He married Sarah Rutherford in 2005, having already been in a loving relationship together for over 25 years and they brought up four children.

In 2002, Whittle received the Liberty/Justice Human Rights Award for 30 years of campaigning work for transgender rights and he was awarded an OBE for services to gender issues in the New Year's Honours List for 2005.
DescriptionPart of the papers deposited by Professor Stephen Whittle in 2022. The other part forms the core of the Press for Change collection (see HCA/PFC).

It has been arranged in 9 series:

1: Personal papers

2: Academic work and other activities

3: FTM Network (UK) and FTM London

4: Other FTM print (UK and elsewhere)

5: Trans organisations and journals (UK)

6: Trans-related print and ephemera (UK)

7: Trans-related print and ephemera (Europe)

8: Trans organisations, journals and ephemera (USA)

9: Trans organisations and print (other countries / international organisations)

Printed highlights include (for example):
- One issue of Transvestia - Vol.X, no.60, December 1969 (in WHITTLE/8/1)
- "Transvestism and transsexualism in modern society: conference report", The First National TV TS Conference held at Leeds 15-17 March 1974, sponsored by Leeds University TV/TS Group (WHITTLE/6/1)
- Gemini: a magazine for transsexuals and transvestites, Leeds TV/TS Group magazine (photocopy), [early 1975] (WHITTLE/6/1)
- "A study of transvestism and allied states in the family and society: conference report", Beaumont Society Conference '75, held at Leicester University, 4-6 April 1975 (WHITTLE/5/1)
- Papers of SHAFT (Self Help Association For Transsexuals), 1980-89 / Gender Dysphoria Trust International (London), 1989-95 (WHITTLE/5/2-3)
- Four boxes of trans-related print from Europe/European countries, 1989-2015 (WHITTLE/7)
- FTM International's newsletter, USA, 1989-2014 (WHITTLE/4/2)
- Rose's Repartee, 1989-91 / International TV Repartee, 1991-94: magazines for those who love to wear feminine clothes (WHITTLE/5/4)
- The Gender Trust newsletters, 1990-2011 (WHITTLE/5/5-7)
- Reports for the first two International Gender Dysphoria Conferences held in Manchester in 1990 and 1992 (WHITTLE/5/9)
- Boy's Own: Newsletter of the FTM Network, London, 1991-2014 (WHITTLE/3/4)
- TransEssex / Transliving International magazines, 1991-2014 (WHITTLE/5/11-15)
- Proceedings of the 1st (1992) , 2nd (1993) and 4th (1995) International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy (ICTLEP) held in Houston, USA (WHITTLE/8/12)
- TV/TS Tapestry / Transgender Tapestry, journal of the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), 1992-2002 (WHITTLE/8/4-6)
- Cross-Talk (The transgender community news and information monthly), California (USA) magazine, 1993-96 (WHITTLE/8/13-14)
- Polare (The Gender Centre Magazine, Australia), 1993-2006 (WHITTLE/9/4-5)
- TransSisters: the journal of transsexual feminism, Kansas City (USA) magazine, 1993-95 (WHITTLE/8/16)
- FTM Nippon [in Japanese], 1995-2006 (WHITTLE/4/6)
- Radical Deviance: a journal of transgendered politics, 1995-99 (WHITTLE/5/19)
- TV TS News / TS TV News / TG Newsletter / TV TS Newsletter, 1995-2009 (WHITTLE/5/20)
- "The White Book - The Trans Man's Survival Guide: a really indispensable manual for inhabiting a trans mans being", edited by Stephen Whittle and published by Press for Change for the FTM Network, July 1998 (WHITTLE/3/1)

The papers occasionally include nudity and details of surgical procedures.

Some files are closed or partly closed, mainly as they contain personal information. Contact us ( if you require access to these files for your research.

- CD: Cross-dressing
- FTM: Female-to-Male
- GIRES: Gender Identity Research and Education Society
- MTF: Male-to-Female
- PFC: Press for Change
- TG: Transgender
- TS: Transsexual
- TV: Transvestite
Related MaterialPart of Stephen Whittle's PhD thesis, "Transsexuals and the law" (1995) is available in HCA/REES/31: Introduction and first five chapters only.
Access StatusMainly open; some items closed
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