Cis Penance – Zoyander Street, until 29 March 2023

This is currently on a screen in the window of 26 Fargate and will be up until 29 March.

Cis Penance is an interactive documentary allowing users to navigate a corpus of interviews with UK transgender people, portraying experiences of deferment and waiting. The title is borrowed from a 2012 article by trans writer Patience Newbury entitled “Maybe you should never transition: On the four cisnormative corridors of denial trans people face when readiness to transition is voiced”, which argues that to deny trans people the right to transition when they decide to do so “serves positively no benefit to a trans person. It merely impresses a cis person’s own denial of a trans person onto that trans person, forcing the latter to serve a cissexist penance…” In this project, trans people talk about their experiences of time, many describing the cissexist penance they have paid to bureaucratic and cultural gatekeeping in the UK.

Zoyander Street is an artist-researcher from Rotherham who works with games and interactive media, and a part-time PhD student in Sociology at Lancaster University.

The characters were designed by June Hornby, and music was created by Liz Ryerson. A forthcoming update to the project will incorporate new features programmed by Brendan Vance.

Supported by: Arts Council England, Freelands Foundation, Space Studios London (European Regional Development Fund), Replicast Ltd.

Play the current version at

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