When we went to London for our Superdrug shoot, there was only one thing that Katy really wanted to do with the rest of our evening and that was visit the Museum Of Transology at The Fashion Space Gallery just off Oxford Street. Although I was interested in this; I didn't really know what to expect, and so when we arrived, I was a little shocked by what we found. The Fashion Space Gallery is in the London College of Fashion, and so it's a little odd to battle through students to find a gallery full of such thought provoking items; but it's so worth a trip.
When you first walk into the gallery space, you are offered a small cardboard tag to take home with you, attach to an item that represents gender to you and pop it up on social media using the hashtag #transology. You are then offered a blank, bigger tag in order to write down what gender means to you, either before or after you've finished looking at the exhibit, and you can then attach it to a coat rack and read what gender means to other people. Mostly, these tags were full of support and love, and it was such a lovely way to open such a thought-provoking, emotional exhibition.
The exhibition is, in essence, a smallish room full of items that have marked people's transitions in one way or another; and these literally range from toys, to lipsticks, right through to a trans* man's removed breasts. The whole exhibition is fascinating; allowing me a view into trans* journeys in a way that I've never seen before; from pre-transition photographs, to hospital letters, to the first packers that trans* men ever used. The whole exhibition caught my emotions in a way that I hadn't expected, and Katy and I cried, marvelled and felt so priviledged to see even a snapshot of people's journeys in such a personal way.
The part I felt the most emotional about was the wall of empty hormone packets, complete with notes from each person that took them. It was so emotional to hear how hormones can change someone's life, how much these prescriptions really meant to the people that battled for them and finally received them. This came with a note alongside with regards to NHS procedures when prescribing and administering hormones that was thought-provoking, frustrating and upsetting to me as a cis-gender woman, and I can only begin to understand what these numbers truly feel like when they're read, and accepted as part of their every day lives, by trans* people.
The exhibition is free, and something that I've never witnessed in any form before - and it's something that I wish that could happen worldwide, as it really did help me to understand a trans* journey more. If you're around in London, definitely check it out, because it's so beautiful and thought-provoking and angering that you could never regret it.