Trans* people are marginalized – often in extreme forms – in virtually all societies, in all parts of the world. In the last few years, a new generation of trans* activists started to build a political movement at the grassroots level. These groups are often not linked among themselves and most of the activists have little experience or knowledge of activism, let alone the financial resources needed to be successful. Funders have only recently ‘discovered’ trans* issues, and most have no coherent policy yet.

Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) are reviewing the International Code of Diseases (ICD), and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), giving activists a unique opportunity to work for change of the current (mental health) pathologization of trans* identities. There is also an urgent need for information on trans* issues, especially the legal, medical and social situation for trans* people in all countries of the world.

Many trans* activists feel ‘left out’ by so-called LGBT groups. Having reached a level of dissatisfaction with the representation of trans* people at the international level, trans* activists are working to create an independent structure, focusing on trans* issues.