David Tennant Supports Trans Rights with a TARDIS Pin Badge
“In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” - The 11th Doctor.
Doctor Who favourite David Tennant inadvertently helped raise thousands of pounds for charity by wearing a trans rights TARDIS pin badge on recent TV appearances.
His Doctor Who-themed activism badge, designed by Dr Jamie Gallagher (and produced by Made by Cooper), went viral, causing Whovians and LGBTQ+ members to flock to his website to order their own.
One of our longest-serving clients, Dr Jamie Gallagher, has been making his science-related rainbow pins with us for years, and David is a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ+ community.
Often seen wearing activism apparel, Tennant wore a “Leave Trans Kids Alone You Absolute Freaks' t-shirt at a press conference for his show Good Omens, and usually dons non-binary pride, trans pride, and LGBTQ+ ally badges wherever he goes.
Doctor Who and the TARDIS
“For some people, small, beautiful events are what life is all about!" - The 5th Doctor
Jamie’s “hobby” of creating science-themed rainbow pin badges (and donating the proceeds to AKT, a charity that supports homeless LGBTQ+ people in the UK) sky-rocketed when the tenth Doctor appeared on Channel 4’s The Last Leg wearing a Trans Pride TARDIS pin badge.
The doctor himself, David Tennent wearing my little Trans Tardis on #theLastLeg.— Dr Jamie Gallagher (@JamieBGall) November 17, 2023
������. Get your own here and all profit goes to @aktcharity #DoctorWho https://t.co/tWuxfCIlbq pic.twitter.com/204AYFppjg
Doctor Who fans and LGBTQ+ community members and allies praised David for his unshakable support and then flocked to Jamie’s website and Etsy shop, Proud Science, to buy a trans rights TARDIS badge of their own.
Four days later, David Tennant was a guest on The One Show on BBC 1, again wearing his trans pride TARDIS pin badge. The result was echoed and amplified with an outpouring of love for David’s allyship and thousands of orders for Jamie’s store.
After selling out in hours, we received two reorders in as many days from Dr Gallagher as he tried in vain to keep up with demand. Jamie’s website finally succumbed to the astronomical number of orders, and he closed his store until after Christmas to give himself the breathing space to process each sale.
The Dr. and the Doctor
“Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.” - The 12th Doctor
We caught up with Dr. Gallagher this week to talk about his inspiration behind his web shop, the meteoric rise of the TARDIS pin badges, and how he's coping with the huge demand.
What inspired you to combine science and pin badges to support the LGBTQ+ community?
"I was going to a Star Trek convention, and someone in a Facebook group asked if there would be any LGBTQ+ meet-ups. Some people started kicking off “Why do you need to turn everything into a Pride parade?”; some of it was really homophobic. This led to my first pin, a little rainbow Star Trek logo. It exploded online, and I thought I’d see if people would like other ones.
I’m a scientist, so I made rainbow test tubes and DNA pin badges. It was a fun project that became about making science a more welcoming and friendly place for LGBTQ+ people.
There are now thousands scattered in labs and classrooms around the world. I know what it would have meant to me to have seen the support of LGBTQ+ in my school growing up. As it was about enhancing community, I wanted the pins to do more than just be seen. So, I started donating profits to the Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports young LGBTQ+ people living with homelessness or in hostile environments."
How did you react to David Tennant sporting your TARDIS pin badge on TV?
"Since the BBC put all the old episodes of Doctor Who on iPlayer, I’ve been catching up and while I was watching one of David Tennant’s episodes, *ping* an order came through under the name of Tennant, a funny coincidence I thought. Until I was half watching the Last Leg, I glanced up, and there he was, wearing my pin badge.
At first, I was delighted and shocked – then the realisation hit – I had to get ready because it was about to blow up. And sure enough, the orders flew in, and just as it calmed down, he wore it a few days later on the One show, then on Russell T Davis's Instagram. It's safe to say there are none left!"
How is your website handling the astronomical amount of traffic that's come your way over the last week?
"Both me and my website are pretty shocked and run down. I’ve actually had to close the website while I process the backorders.
It’s just me, parcelling things up from my hall after work. I can get through 200-300 an evening, but the orders are coming in faster than that, so a temporary break had to happen."
What feedback have you received following David's One Show and Last Leg appearances?
"David has been wearing the pin all over the place. I was braced for many negative interactions – I’ve encountered it plenty of times before – but the response has been joyful!
I can’t keep up with all the positive and encouraging messages. I’ve already donated £4,000 to the Albert Kennedy Trust, and there is much more to follow. Thanks to the Made By Cooper team for helping me make it happen."
The Power of Pin Badges
“The universe is big, its vast and complicated, and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen, and we call them miracles” - 11th Doctor.
On the face of it, pin badges are teeny, tiny pieces of flair that people use to add a little personality to their jackets, bags, and hats.
But they can be so much more than that.
These brightly coloured adornments can represent camaraderie to those who feel alone, and pin badges can speak a silent message of allyship and security to people who rarely feel safe.
The simple act of wearing an LGBTQ+ pride pin badge to work, whether you’re an A-list actor or working your first job in a fast food restaurant, could raise a smile on a bad day, help someone feel less isolated in the universe, or, occasionally, when the stars align, thousands of people can congregate around your simple idea that can result in acts of kindness and support, spread the word about the rights of others, and raise thousands of pounds for essential charities.
David Tennant has been, rightly, showered with praise for his continuous support for trans kids, non-binary people, and the LGBTQ+ community, but Dr Jamie Gallagher’s selfless commitment to making the world a better place using the power of pin badges makes him every bit as crucial to the fight against hatred and bigotry. Tennant agreed with this sentiment when he spoke with Attitude.co.uk about his pin badge and how much it had made for charitiy.
This is an ally. David Tennant discusses wearing his trans Tardis badge and helping raise thousands for LGBTQ charity ️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/driUC9xQLk— Attitude Magazine (@AttitudeMag) November 24, 2023
If you want to follow in Dr Gallagher’s footsteps and have any ideas for trans rights pin badges, LGBTQ+ patches, or any other activism merch, send us an email to discuss your designs, and we’ll help you to become a more positive force in a world that's desperately in need.