Points of pride: Yvonne Sinclair
February is LGBTQ History Month and this year, we want to spotlight the pink plaques you may have spotted around the borough. Designed and installed by local heritage organisation Islington’s Pride, the plaques feature a QR code which can be scanned to find out more about a particular person or point of interest at that location, in celebration of Islington’s LGBTQ history. To give you a flavour of what to expect, throughout the month we’ll be telling the stories of the people behind the plaques in a series of articles. This time: charity organiser Yvonne Sinclair
Yvonne was a prominent figure in the UK’s ‘transvestite and transsexual’ community from the 1970s onwards. She founded the ‘TV/TS Support Group’, which met at 274 Upper Street three nights a week and every weekend for 16 years. This was part of her life-long dedication to fighting for the acceptance of trans people in the UK.
Described by Christine Burns in her book, Trans Britain, as “a charismatic and opinionated cross-dresser”, Yvonne was the heart of the TV/TS Support Group. She also published written works and had several TV and radio interviews.
In 1985 she turned the TV/TS Support Group into a registered charity, in order to provide a safe space for trans people to socialise and get support. Eventually, the organisation became the first national telephone support line for trans people and ensured that their physical office was open five days a week to give support and advice. Yvonne’s tireless fundraising allowed the group to do a huge amount of work, despite a complete lack of external funding from local government.