A former Bradford DJ who starred in a documentary charting her sex change is returning to the city tomorrow to urge people to sign a pledge in support of transgender people.
Julia Grant, who lived in Bradford for five years from 1991, featured in a ground-breaking three-part television series around 35 years ago, which followed her before, during and after a sex change operation at Charring Cross Gender Clinic.
The 59-year-old is returning to Bradford for a Transgender Day of Remembrance event in City Park, where she will become the first to sign the Trans Pledge, which she will then take to cities around the UK and Europe.
Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, Julia, who was born George Roberts, said: “This is an amazing thing for Bradford and it is a day that will go down in history.
“I lived in Bradford for five years, working as a DJ in Lingards, and I have lovely memories of my time there.
“I’m really pleased that it’s Bradford that’s launching this pledge because it’s so important to transgender people.
“The gay scene is about 20 years ahead of the trans scene, and Bradford will be bringing it into the 21st century.”
The Transgender Day of Remembrance in Bradford will begin with a march from Bradford’s Trafalgar House police station at 2.30pm, before a vigil in memory of people who have lost their lives through suicide or hate crimes at 3pm.
There will then be an invitation-only event in the banqueting suite at City Hall, which will be attended by Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Joanne Dodds.
A spokesman for Bradford group SafeT, which received an award from West Yorkshire Police for its work to increase the reporting of hate crime, said figures show 34 per cent of trangender people attempt suicide.
“This pledge is Bradford saying it has zero tolerance to transphobia.
“We have done a lot of work with West Yorkshire Police, who will have a senior officer joining us for the walk.
“There were seven of us last year, but this year we are expecting a lot of the transgender community to come along and show Bradford is a positive place.”
Group Trans+ will also be getting people to sign the pledge.