Brighton is trans friendlyBy Sarah Savage
PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com
Brighton definitely has a reputation for being trans friendly.
One of the reasons I came here was because it had this reputation for being accepting of trans people. I just think people in Brighton are very aware of gender-variance and they’ve given it the thought that other people around the country haven’t. Elsewhere in the country you’re more likely to get a reaction out of someone for being obviously trans.
When I first came here, someone invited me to a Trans Pride meeting. I thought it was a brilliant idea and said that I’d give her a hand and see if we can make it happen. And that happened last year, the first one. There was about ten people who were instrumental to making it happen, and in the run up to it we were like, “Ah we’ll, we’ll be happy if 300 people turn up. That will be amazing”. And the last act of the day, there was hardly any room in the New Steine Gardens for people to stand. I think we had a footfall of over 1,500 people. Yeah, I was blown away by how popular it was. Everyone who was gender-variant said that, they felt that this was a Pride for them. I’m really pleased with the atmosphere as well.
I’ve been to main Pride and I just didn’t feel that it was really inclusive of trans people. It just
seemed to be an event for gay, lesbian and bisexual people and the trans bit felt like it was just kind
of stuck on the end. A load of trans people aren’t gay or lesbian or bisexual, so they don’t really feel
included by that either. The idea of an LGBT community is already outdated. LGB people need to
help the TQIA people, they should look after each other. If you see injustice you stand up and you
join the fight. We all have so much in common it would be stupid to ignore the LGB community and to
say “Oh, we can do this on our own.” Trans people, gendervariant people need to have a separate identity, but they need to be able to accept help from outside. We need the help from the larger society to really get anywhere.
This is Sarah's testimony in Chapter One (Communities, Trans Pride, LGBTQ, differences, support) of the ground-breaking Brighton Trans*formed book.
To read more intimate, heart-breaking and heart-warming stories from transgender people, click here.
This page was amended on 19/12/2014