Inspirational role model shares incredible story

5 February 2020

Transgender racing driver Charlie Martin spoke at a UCLan LGBTQ+ event

A transgender racing driver attracted a crowd in Preston as she talked about her incredible and inspiring life story.

LGBTQ+ advocate Charlie Martin spoke at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) LGBT History Month 2020 event.

The trans role model and Stonewall Champion told the audience how she has continuously fought to overcome adversity throughout her life. She entered the world of motorsport without support from her parents, who had passed away, and she identified as transgender from age seven. She transitioned to live as a female in 2012.

Charlie, who hopes to race in the 24-hours of Le Mans, making history as the first transgender woman to do so, said: “I think it’s important to share my story about the challenges I faced growing up and when I was trying to make a career in motorsports because I never saw anyone like myself when I was growing up.

“When you don’t see anyone who you relate to then it feels like there are barriers and you can’t get past them. Everyone should have somebody who they feel represents them and I’m proud to do that.”

The motivational talk was organised by UCLan’s Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Communities team who supports the University LGBT+ Staff Network. As well as Charlie’s talk, there was also additional speakers, a Q&A panel discussion and a number of stakeholder stalls from LGBT Lancashire, NHS, Chrysalis, Young Addaction Lancashire, UCLan’s Students’ Union and Lancashire Police.

Charlie Martin
Charlie Martin

Photo Caption: L-r Suely Ludgero-Newlove, UCLan’s Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Communities Officer; Dr Sylvy Anscombe, UCLan's Maths Lecturer and Staff LGBT+ Network Chair; racing driver Charlie Martin; Dr Lynne Livesey, UCLan Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and Linda Tompkins, UCLan’s Equality Diversity Inclusion & Communities Manager.