Transgender in the Netherlands: an extraordinary history

Alex Bakker, IHLIA
November 15 2022 till December 13 2022
Atlas, ground floor
Price: Free (Student) Free (Others)

Being transgender is not some kind of hype, it has always existed. Not the word or the concept – but the people have always been there. Throughout history, trans people have largely been invisible. This exhibition brings their stories to light.

“I have lived based on what my heart told me. I’ve had to fight my whole life. I still have to, in fact. I’ll be sitting in a bar, talking to somebody, only for someone else to lean in and say ‘you know, that is a really a dude, that’s a faggot’. Even today! When will it end? 
However, I am glad how things have turned out. I have seen a lot of the world: Paris, Berlin, Nice, Brazil, Argentina, Morocco. I have danced, performed, played the whore, even been in jail. If I had been born a girl, I would probably have become a housewife with a lot of children. Ugh, so boring.”- Aaïcha Bergamin (1932-2014). 

Aaïcha’s life story is one of the many stories told in this exhibition, created by historian Alex Bakker and IHLIA (the international LGBTI heritage organization). 

This exhibition tells the story of trans people in the Netherlands from the 1950’s till the present. It shows their long struggle with exclusion and prejudice that has slowly resulted in more emancipation and recognition. Personal stories show the huge amount of courage it took for people to simply be themselves across all these decades. You will see portraits of Dutch trans people, from the oldest pioneers to the youngest generation. Nowadays, transgender is an umbrella term for all those who dissociate themselves from their assigned gender at birth, such as cross-dressers, non-binary gender queers, and trans men and women. You are warmly invited to explore their stories here, right on campus.

TU/e Heritage included
This exhibition is being organized together with Compass. Members of Compass have collected cultural heritage in the trans communities at the TU/e and in the Eindhoven region. These objects are part of the exhibition. 

Opening hours
The exhibition can be visited from Tuesday 15 November until Tuesday 13 December 2022 on Mondays - Fridays: 07:00 - 19:00. The exhibition is closed on the weekends.

Related lecture 
On Wednesday 16 November, psychologist Dr. Mark Hommes gave the lecture: ‘Beyond male and female’ . He  explained the wide range of identities and expressions that exist beyond the stereotypical male and female. You can watch the recorded lecture here.

All programs conveniently listed in your inbox?

Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter now.

Sign up