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Changing for Change

CHANGING FOR CHANGE – A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT

What is it all about and why have we done this?

Quilombo UK is all about challenging stereotypes and fighting discrimination. With this project our purpose was to discover the root cause of prejudice, rejection or even isolation of the trans community (transgender, transsexual and transvestite individuals). We wish to make the borough of Kingston a safer place for people regardless of their sexuality or gender choices. We believe that by raising awareness of this root cause and the associated social exclusion that has been the result, we will help to give other members of our community a better insight into their
lives and hereby change preconceptions.

“Some of the young people were laughing, saying ‘That’s their choice, it’s perfectly all right” – volunteer on the day

How is your ordinary day vs. one of a transgender person – how did we find out?

In order to address this question, we filmed male members of our organization who volunteered to put on women’s clothes for one day, while carrying out their everyday activities in Kingston upon Thames. We aimed to capture the reactions of the public towards them and observe any abnormal perceptions towards them to assess if they are treated differently by others compared to how we are used to being treated ourselves in our everyday life. In addition, we gave members
of the public the opportunity to explain their reactions and share their preconceptions and knowledge about the trans community.

“I could feel the hate at the bus stop” – Alex, volunteer on the day

The impact

The collected material was used to create our upcoming documentary. We hope that this will give the community a new perspective on the local trans community and encourage them to think and act differently. We will encourage in every possible way a public discussion so that people can identify for themselves the root of prejudice towards this particular group and thus invite you to share our short documentary! It is only when we fully understand the problem that we can start to solve it.

“In the shop, they referred to me as ‘Sir’” – Paul, volunteer on the day