Stephen started his academic career teaching Family Lives and Social Policy with the Open University. He joined Manchester Metropolitan University as a lecturer in Law in 1993. He progressed to senior lecturer, then Reader, and in 2006 was made Professor of Equalities Law.
Stephen transitioned from female to male in 1975. He already had a degree in Geography in African and Asian Studies from Sussex University, but after losing numerous jobs because of being transgender, he was working in the property development and building trade when in 1985 he decided to obtain legal training on the part time LLB evening course at Manchester Metropolitan University. He primarily wanted to challenge the discrimination he and other trans people experienced. He went on to obtain a Masters, and a PhD.
In 1992, Stephen was a co-founder of Press for Change (PFC), the UK's trans rights lobby group. PFC's very successful campaigns have resulted in several major case law successes at the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, which have led to significant legal changes since the mid-1990s, including the Gender Recognition Act 2004, and full protection under the Equality Act 2010. Stephen has advised on transgender rights and law to the UK, Scottish, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Hong Kong, and South African governments, as well as the European Union & the Commission, and the Council of Europe. He regularly advises lawyers and writes briefs, or is an expert witness, for courts worldwide. He has authored many academic papers, non-academic articles, several books and writes a regular blog.
Recently he has worked with Dr Sara Davidmann from the University of the Arts London, in creating exhibitions on what it means trans person be trans. In 2013, he advised on, and wrote the historical timeline for Liverpool Museum's exhibition Portrait of a Lady, the history of transsexual people in the UK told through the story of model, April Ashley.
He has received numerous awards for his work on Transgender rights, including:
2016 Elected Fellow, Academy of Social Sciences 2016 ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the UK’s Sparkle Charity National Transgender Awards2014 DLaws (Honoris Causa), Sussex University, in recognition of his contribution to Equalities and Human Rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People 2014 the American Bar Association's Stonewall award for his contribution to "removing barriers and championing diversity for the LGBT community, both within the legal profession and impacting the greater human universe" 2013 Frank Kemeny Life Time Achievement Award from the USA's National LGBT Bar Association for his commitment to providing guidance and inspiration to activists and other lawyers, and pro-bono amicus briefs to the US and international courts and governments in the campaign for transgender rights. 2007 Lambda Literary Award for 'The Transgender Studies Reader' (with Susan Stryker, 2006, New York: Routledge). 2005 Queen's New Year's Honours list; Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his work on 'gender rights'. 2002 Human Rights Award (2002) from Liberty, the Law Society and Justice on behalf of the UK's Human Rights Legal Profession for his contribution to the law recognising the Human Rights of Transgender People
Academic and professional qualifications
Phd (MMU), MA Crime, Deviance and Social Policy (Lancaster), LLB (MMU), BA Geography (Sussex)
Other academic service (administration and management)
Research Development, Postgraduate Supervision, Teaching at Undergraduate: Law and Society; Teaching at Postgraduate: Research Methods Training Programme, European Equalities & Human Rights Law
Research Expertise, Publications & Grants
Books (authored/edited/special issues)
ST. Whittle (2016). The Ultimate Practice Guide to Transgender and Transsexual Human Rights and Equality Law in the UK. Press for Change.
ST. Whittle (2015). The Gender Variant Child’s Right to Attend School: A Guide to UK Law for the Transgender Community, Parents, & Schools. London: Press for Change.
ST. Whittle (2014). Changing Names & Changing Legal Gender: A Guide to UK Law for Organisations. Employers & The Transgender Community. London: Press For Change.
ST. Whittle, L. Turner (2009). Transphobic: Hate Crime in the European Union. London: Press for Change.
E. Coleman, W. Bockting, M. Botzer, P. Cohen-Kettenis, G. DeCuypere, et al.J. Feldman, L. Fraser, J. Green, G. Knudson, WJ. Meyer, S. Monstrey, RK. Adler, GR. Brown, AH. Devor, R. Ehrbar, R. Ettner, E. Eyler, R. Garofalo, DH. Karasic, AI. Lev, G. Mayer, H. Meyer-Bahlburg, BP. Hall, F. Pfaefflin, K. Rachlin, B. Robinson, LS. Schechter, V. Tangpricha, M. van Trotsenburg, A. Vitale, S. Winter, S. Whittle, KR. Wylie, K. Zucker. (2012). Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-Nonconforming People, Version 7. International Journal of Transgenderism. 13(4), pp.165-232.
C. Little, P. Stephens, S. Whittle (2012). The Praxis and Politics of Policing: Problems Facing Transgender People. QUT Law Review. 2(2),
E. Coleman, W. Bockting, M. Botzer, P. Cohen-Kettenis, G. DeCuypere, et al.ST. Whittle. (2012). World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People. International Journal of Transgenderism. 13(4),
J. Green, S. McGowan, J. Levi, R. Wallbank, S. Whittle (2011). Recommendations from the WPATH Consensus Process for Revision of the DSM Diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorders: Implications for Human Rights. International Journal of Transgenderism. 13(1), pp.1-4.
C. Bœuf, M. Diamond, J. Haritaworn, V. He-say, JB. Noble, et al.S. Whittle, M-H. Bourcier, P. Molinier. (2008). Masculinités queer, trans et post-trans : les rejetons du féminisme. Cahiers du Genre. 45(2), pp.85-85.
S. Whittle, L. Turner (2007). ''Sex changes'? Paradigm shifts in 'sex' and 'gender' following the gender recognition act?'. Sociological Research Online. 12(1),
ST. Whittle (2007). ‘Respectively male and female’: The failures of the Gender Recognition Act (2005) and the Civil Partnership Act (2005). Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review. 8(1),
S. Whittle (2006). The opposite of sex is politics - The UK gender recognition act and why it is not perfect, just like you and me. Journal of Gender Studies. 15(3), pp.267-271.
S. Whittle (2005). Period of transition. Occupational Health. 57(5), pp.10-11.
TARYNNM. WITTEN, STEPHEN. WHITTLE (2004). TRANSPANTHERS: THE GREYING OF TRANSGENDER AND THE LAW. Deakin Law Review. 9(2), pp.504-504.
CF. Hartley, S. Whittle (2003). Different sexed and gendered bodies demand different ways of thinking about policy and practice. Practice. 15(3), pp.61-73.
R. Clucas, ST. Whittle (2018). Nonbinary people and the law. C. Richards, WP. Bouman, MJ. Barker. In: Genderqueer and non-binary genders. Basinstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.73-99.
ST. Whittle (2017). Employment Issues for Transgender and Gender Variant People: A Legal Perspective. W. Bouman, J. Arcelus. In: The Transgender Handbook – A Guide for Transgender People, their Families and Professionals. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp.359-372.
ST. Whittle (2013). Tcorizando el Cambio, La Historia y Desarrollo de Una Europa Queer (Theorising Change: The History and Development of Queer Europe). In: The Handbook of Human Rights 2013. Santiago: The Centre for Human Rights, University of Chile,
ST. Whittle The Manager's Role in Promoting Transgender Equality. 17/11/2017.
ST. Whittle Gender Identity and the European Courts: Where Next?. The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, The Hague, 1/8/2016.
ST. Whittle The End of Gender: Invalidating the Trans-Identity and the Need to Be Someone. Leeds University, United Kingdom, 23/3/2016.
ST. Whittle Gender - What Future Does It Have?. Sydney, Australia, 26/2/2016.
A. Waughray, M. Dhanda, D. Mosse, S. Whittle, D. Keane, et al.R. Green. (2014). CASTE IN BRITAIN: SOCIO-LEGAL REVIEW. Equality and Human Rights Commission, Equality and Human Rights Commission.
ST. Whittle, L. Turner (2017). Trans-Inclusive Workplaces – A Guide for Employers and Businesses is a Toolkit and Call for Action.