Trans activist Julia Grant dies

Picture Facebook

The transgender activist Julia Grant has died, aged 64, after a short illness.

Julia was the subject of the 1979 BBC documentary A Change of Sex, which followed her transition and was the first TV documentary to address transgender issues.

She actively campaigned for LGBT+ rights.

Julia also owned the Hollywood Showbar in Canal Street at the heart of Manchester’s gay village, and fought to save the area from property developers.

On Facebook transgender charity Sparkle posted: “It’s important to remember that when A Change of Sex was originally televised in 1979, there was very little publicly available information about trans people and those living with gender dysphoria.

“Julia’s story brought hope to many like her, and helped advance visibility and understanding of a maligned and excluded minority.”

John Pearson, director of A Change of Sex told the BBC: “It’s difficult if you weren’t around at that time to realise how closed and secretive that whole trans scene was – and the gay scene to some extent.

“Essentially, overnight, she made it possible for people to understand what it was like – and she continued to do that.”