I’m Kestral, a transgender activist, producer, and writer from the United Kingdom with an obsession for baking bread on the side. My work with LGBTQ+ charities is driven by my passion to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people, especially those in the trans and non-binary community.
An accomplished public speaker, I have addressed crowds of over 5,000 including at Campus Party, The European Education Policy Summit, and Microsoft TechDays. I have also delivered guest lectures on innovating accessibility and building future technologies at over 50 universities across Europe.
I recently took on the extreme challenge of improving life under lockdown for members of the LGBTQ+ community by delivering DigiFest, a 12-hour live-streamed festival designed to provide a lifeline for trans young people and their families stuck at home. The festival, with over 5,000 live viewers, saw Loraine Kelly, John Barrowman, and Eddie Redmayne join us live amongst others to help raise £13,000 for charity. As Technical Director for this broadcast I created the graphics, led the livestream production, and was the vital cog in a media machine that delivered the most successful PR and fundraising event in the history of UK trans-focussed charities.
Beyond the media I have training in counselling and psychotherapy, youth work, social care, and physical and mental healthcare. I have a degree-level qualification in computer science, media, and marketing, and have also released several EPs of music, and have a small number of acting credits to my name.
When I saw the crucial need to support isolated trans people during the COVID-19 crisis I created the Validation Station, a text service which sent over 11,000 people an SMS message daily or weekly, affirming their name and pronouns and letting them know that they are not alone. I set this project up in just three days, and following critical acclaim in Forbes, by the HRC, and in LGBTQ+ media, it grew exponentially.
I am a proud trans woman who is not ashamed to speak about my gender identity or life with autism. You can contact me if you need help coding, producing audio or video content, growing your company’s LGBTQ+ policies or communities, or if you want to talk about sourdough. I’ve got a really good starter for you.