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Melz and Kate O'Donnell talk about how to create change in our own lives and in the world.

Queer Contact 2021 kicks off with a keynote speech from Melz, trans activist and founder and director of the Free Black University.

Curated and hosted by Kate O’Donnell, founder and director of Trans Creative, this event will explore how we can engage radical possibilities when we think about how we want to create change in our own lives and in the world.

Melz will speak about their own experiences as a queer, Black, neurodiverse, and trans person, passionate about transforming education. Exploring how all the aspects of their identity teach them how to make an impact on the world and how you can too. They believe that nothing is impossible, and that the future is  created by us all. So, they will explore the possibilities and power of what it means to shape our own queer, radical, and healing futures.

This event is part of Queer Contact Festival 2021. For the first time this year, we are offering a membership deal for Queer Contact. For just £10 you can get 25% off this event and others, plus a range of tickets totally free! To find out more, click here.

The event will be captioned.

If you have booked a ticket, you can access the event page here.

Content Warning

Mention of transphobia and violence

Melz (They/Them)  

Melz is the Founder of the Free Black University (@freeblackuni). They are an activist who has worked in a number of spaces such as Black Lives Matter UK, decolonising education, and trans visibility. They are a multifaceted artist and academic, their work explores the radical Black imagination and building transformative worlds. Their passion is research, and they are currently a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge exploring visions for collective liberation. Melz always endeavours to take this radical, decolonial, Black feminist analysis forward in all aspects of their life and work.

Trans artist and academic Melz

Kate O’Donnell 

Kate O’Donnell is a transgender performer, activist and theatre maker. In  2016 she founded Trans Creative arts company with the tagline “telling our own stories”. In 2017 she initiated Manchester’s first trans arts festival Trans Vegas giving a platform to 300 trans voices and in 2020 the festival responded to COVID-19 by going digital for the first time. Her theatre work includes; the award-winning “Big Girl’s Blouse” & acclaimed one woman show ‘You’ve Changed’. She played Feste in Twelfth Night & Electra in Gypsy, both at the Royal Exchange. Kate has directed Transpose two years running and Not Dying, both at the Barbican, and regularly speaks on panels and made guest appearances on the Guilty Feminist podcast at the live shows. In 2018 she was nominated for the Gay Times Arts and Culture Award.

Trans performer Kate O'Donnell

  • Price
    £7 full/£6 under-35s/£5 concessions. 25% off tickets with a Queer Contact Membership (£5.50/£4.50/£3.75)
  • Venue


  • Ages
    Recommended for ages 14+
  • Running
    60 minutes
  • Booking info

    You will receive a link to the show via email. Please check your inboxes, including junk/spam email, for this.

Date Time & Place