Manchester-based Julia Grant, who became a pioneer and a leader in the LGBTQ+ community after she was one of the first people to allow TV cameras to follow her gender transition in the late 70s, has passed away at the age of 64.
Julia's transition was documented in a BBC documentary called 'George to Julia - A Change Of Sex' which followed her story over several years, beginning in 1979, and was watched weekly by more than 20 million people.
For many, Julia was the first trans woman they'd ever seen on television; she went on to completely shape the national trans debate and inspire people with gender dysphoria to come out and seek medical help.
Gay rights campaigner and Manchester Liberal Democrat Leader John Leech responded:
“I’m really sad to hear the news that Julia Grant has passed away.
"She was rightfully looked up to by many as a leader in the LGBTQ+ community, in particular here in Manchester, but also across the country.
"Throughout her life, she took on issues that others couldn’t quite bring themselves to and, in the process, changed the course of thousands of people’s lives.
“Even as recently as last year, I know she was just as angry as I am about the overdevelopment and destruction of heritage and history in our Gay Village.
“Whilst this is a sad day, it is also a day to remind ourselves of her immense contributions to society and an even better day to renew our fight for true equality.
“The fight for Manchester’s Gay Village is not over and I promise the Liberal Democrats in Manchester will do everything we can to protect our city’s LGBTQ+ history in Julia’s memory.
“All my thoughts are with Julia’s loved ones at this time.”