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Exhibition tells stories of religious transgender people

Jul 06, 2016

Twilight People founder Surat-Shaan Knan, next to his own photograph from the exhibition
Twilight People founder Surat-Shaan Knan, next to his own photograph from the exhibition

A groundbreaking exhibition telling the stories of religious transgender people is opening at the University of Salford.

The Twilight People exhibition, the first in Britain to look at the experiences of transgender people of faith, is opening at the foyer of the University’s MediaCityUK building in Salford Quays during a special event on Thursday July 7 and will run until July 25.

The exhibition features images, videos and stories, describing the experiences of more than 40 members of different faith groups, including Christians, Muslims and Jews.

It was inspired by a prayer called Twilight People written by US Rabbi Reuben Zellman, often recited for the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which takes place in November to honour those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia.

The exhibition, which is hosted by Liberal Judaism and supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, first opened at Islington Museum in London as part of LGBT History Month and is coming to the University of Salford as it travels around the country to raise awareness of the issue.

The opening event will feature speeches by priest and broadcaster Rachel Mann, Twilight People founder Surat-Shaan Knan, and Professor Paul Rowlett, University of Salford Pro Vice Chancellor.

Prof Rowlett said: “At a time when the world is becoming increasingly divided, events like this which demonstrate our support for people from diverse communities are increasingly important.  The University of Salford is proud to be hosting this exhibition exploring faith and gender.

“We are working hard to ensure people of all genders and of no gender, of all faiths and none, whether staff or students, are supported to achieve their very best in a safe welcoming environment. We aim to become a trans-inclusive university and I would like to thank all our trans students for not only sharing their ideas but being actively involved in making this happen.”

Rabbi Danny Rich, Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, said: “The Twilight People project goes from strength to strength and I am proud that people around the UK will now get to interact with this wonderful exhibition.”