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Brighton got under my skin

By Alice Denny

Brighton got under my skin

PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com

I came to Brighton to maintain contact with my friends from The Clare Project and the friends that I had made in Brighton.

It was supposed to be a temporary move really, while I got my bearings. Brighton got under my skin, as it does, and it’s really only last week that I finally said, I think I’ve completely committed myself to being in Brighton permanently. 

I’ve still got roots in Hastings, I love Hastings. And although I thought I was trying to find somewhere to live in Brighton, I still held onto that link back there. Then I realised that it wasn’t a good idea to try to revisit the past.

Remembering what it was like the last time I had to go back to Hastings for just a few months hiatus, and that was a really desperate time. Almost undid all the good work I’d been doing in Brighton.

I’m not scared of being anywhere else, I just feel really comfortable in Brighton. I really love my friends in Brighton, they mean more to me than they could imagine. Brighton’s encouraged me to perform my poetry rather than just write it and keep it to myself and it gives me avenues for doing the things that I really like doing, spontaneously. Not many places can do that. It’s not too big, it’s not anonymous. You walk down the street and people know you.

Now I have a lot more men friends, male friends. I say “men friends” it sounds as if I’ve gone straight or something, but, you know, I’ve got lots of male friends which I didn’t have before. I found it very hard to relate to men in the way that men do. Brighton’s just given me this whole new outlook on life and I feel it gives me the chance of expressing the real me.


This is Alice's testimony in Chapter One (Communities, Trans Pride, LGBTQ, differences, support) of the groundbreaking Brighton Trans*formed book.

To read more intimate, heart-breaking and heart-warming stories from transgender people, click here.

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This page was amended on 19/12/2014
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