We're still marginalisedBy Edward
PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com
In the LGBT community there are things that bring us together and that connect us which are strong.
We could use those connections to fight for our rights and fight against discrimination and share understanding and raise awareness. It could be a really powerful bonding of four very separate groups of people. Unfortunately, the reality is that trans people experience of the LGBT community is very varied. There are some LGBT organisations that have a strong trans voice involved in running them. In others, it seems the trans voice is lost in a roomful of other people. Sometimes it’s not there at all. I think we’re still marginalised, but it has changed a lot in the ten years since I started transitioning.
I’ve been in Brighton for four years and over the course of that time, now with the Trans Alliance forming and with Trans Pride, there seems to be more of an out and visible trans community starting to form. I’m involved in FTM Brighton and we’ve been going for three years now. It still feels, in many ways, like quite a fledgling group that’s still figuring out what it wants to do. Just being a group that is there for trans-masculine people on a regular basis, that they can just come to, and be amongst their peers, safely, without judgement is a huge thing. People massively underestimate what peer support is, for trans people.
When I first moved here, which was January 2010, there was The Clare Project and that was it. MindOut was alive then but they hadn’t done much trans-specific stuff. I went along to The Clare Project and there were no trans guys there and I felt very out of place. So I didn’t go back. Then, shortly after that, FTM Brighton started. God knows how I heard about it, but somehow I did and I’ve been involved in that ever since. First as just a punter, and then I got involved in the committee. I need to be actively forcing myself into the community to deal with my own stuff. So since then I have made friends and I’ve dealt with a lot of stuff myself as a result of that, just from the exposure.
This is Ed'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