We're human beingsBy Ben
PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com
I started Brighton University when I was twenty, and I transitioned between the first year and the second year.
I really felt like we desperately needed an FTM Brighton, a support group for trans guys in Brighton. I knew there was The Clare Project. I think it had just started around then and I did go to one of the meetings, but it was quite early on and there was only one other trans guy there. So as welcoming as it was, and as lovely as the people there were, I didn’t really feel I could relate. There didn’t seem to be anyone else I could really talk to about the stuff that I wanted to talk about my transition.
I feel very much like I am part of the trans community now. I’m on the management committee for FTM Brighton and I’m also part of the Trans Alliance, which is a new group that’s recently been set up this year. It has representatives from each of the trans related groups in Brighton, so it’s a bit like the Power Rangers, the Trans Alliance. I do think we should have a costume, but there we are. So, I’m part of that and I feel like I’ve connected much better with other people in my situation or with similar journeys over the past couple of years. It’s made me feel a lot stronger and a lot more empowered.
I’m working towards giving a very positive view to people that don’t have anything to do with the trans community. I’m trying to show that we are normal people. We are just like anyone else, we’re human beings. Trans Pride was set up by quite a few people that I know in the trans community in Brighton. It was originally set up by one individual, a trans woman who then couldn’t go on to take part in it any more unfortunately because of various personal reasons. But these other people stepped up and put together this amazing event in the summer. It was very community based and a lot of people that went along to it said it was very much how Brighton’s main LGBT Pride used to be. It felt very safe. It was much smaller than the usual Pride, and it was fantastic because I got to be there as part of FTM Brighton. So I was on the FTMB stall, but I was also there as Ben the stand up. It was great to have those two points of view and to go round the stalls. It was just a lovely, lovely atmosphere.
This is Ben'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.
This page was amended on 18/12/2014