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Brighton Trans*formed

By Stella Cardus

Brighton Trans*formed

On 24 September 2014 Queenspark Books unveiled its 104th book at a reception in Brighton's Jubilee Library.

The event was hosted by stand-up comedienne Claire Parker who also featured in the re-screening of the video first shown at the Brighton Trans*formed launch on 25 June 2013 in the Founders Room at Brighton Dome.

There were also emotive speeches from two of the book's contributors, Darcy Heston and Cass Hoskins.

Like other contributors, they had worked through confidence issues and self-protective boundaries to appear on posters, radio, in public art and in the book – in order to express what being a trans person in Brighton is really like.

THE BOOK
Brighton Trans*formed preserves previously untold stories for future generations, with a much-needed exploration into the diversity of gender expression within the city. It’s contributors range from 18 to 81 years old with very different life experiences. All of their testimonies have in common an absolute honesty and openness: contributors shared their joys and tragedies; adversities faced, and a display of strength and resolve to be themselves.
 
For a taste of some of the most intimate, heart-breaking and heart-warming stories you'll ever read, click here.
 
THE EXHIBITION TRAIL
The exhibition trail told the same stories through photography, audio and object installations. It was a high impact, highly visual event that ran from 24 July – 4 August 2014 to coincide with Trans Pride. Described by Gscene as "The streets of Brighton lined with faces of participants from the project in the largest, real-life, trans documentation project to be seen in the UK.", the trail included:

Jubilee Library where visitors were invited to take a seat on Brighton beach deckchairs and immerse themselves in Trans*formed’s recorded stories.

Unitarian Church which was lit up by supersized images of trans people projected onto the neo-classical building.

St James Street where dozens of shop windows displayed life sized portraits from the project during the march up the street to Trans Pride in New Steine Gardens.

Gilded Cage Tattoo Studio, St James’ Street where there was an adult-only, graphic display of actual body parts in formaldehyde, kept after gender reassignment surgery.
 
The Marlborough Pub which hosted an exhibition of participant’s favourite things (from boobs and binders to baseball caps and teddy bears) reflecting their trans journeys. Outside, the pub was adorned with photographs of participants - a sight which became a symbol of the project and the cover of the newly launched book.
 
E-J Scott, QueenSpark's Curator of the trail, said: “It is time for our communities to stand up proud and be counted, so that we can deconstruct the media’s spectacularization of our lives and our bodies that reinforces old-fashioned, out of date myths and malarkey about who trans people really are. This exhibition showcases the bravery of individuals who want to live in a Brighton free of transphobia and violence. By seeing our faces and hearing our stories we share the reality of our world - we are simply people who love, cry and live our lives like everybody else - and want to be respected for it.”

THE AWARENESS EVENT
On Thursday 19 February Brighton Trans*formed presented a Trans*Gender Awareness event for LGBT History Month at the Marlborough Pub and Theatre.
 
Compered by Claire Parker, the event featured international trans* artist Justin Vivian Bond’s new book, Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels. It also included live readings and recordings from the Brighton Trans*formed book.
 
heritage lottery fund
 
To download the Brighton Transformed Project Report, click on the PDF.
Download File - download file
This page was amended on 13/05/2015
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