Pride event set to celebrate the city’s trans community

Last year's Trans Pride march (Photograph: Sharon Kilgannon/ alonglines.com)
Last year's Trans Pride march (Photograph: Sharon Kilgannon/ alonglines.com)

The Trans Pride march takes place in Brighton on Saturday as part of this week’s festival promoting equality and raising awareness of issues affecting the transgender community.

The Trans Pride Brighton festival is in its sixth year helping to eliminate discrimination against trans, non-binary, intersex and gender-variant people.

Last year's Trans Pride (Photograph: Sharon Kilgannon/ alonglines.com)

Last year's Trans Pride (Photograph: Sharon Kilgannon/ alonglines.com)

The 2018 celebrations have come at a time when debates on transgender rights are on a national platform — thanks to government proposals to streamline the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).

Natalie Washington, project officer for Trans Pride, said: “It feels to us like Trans Pride has taken on some extra significance this year, partly in light of the protest at Pride in London, but mostly because we’ve seen seemingly endless attacks on the trans community this year.”

A Trans Pride spokesperson said: “Trans Pride is here to say we are real, we are valid, we are talented and we can be loved.”

There are more than 20 events associated with Trans Pride between Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 21, including exhibitions, poetry nights, conferences, film nights, a protest march and after party.

Volunteers at last year's Trans Pride (Photograph: Sharon Kilgannon/ alonglines.com)

Volunteers at last year's Trans Pride (Photograph: Sharon Kilgannon/ alonglines.com)

Ms Washington said: “Trans Pride is a wonderful opportunity for us to show off the valuable talent and strength in our community.”

The march takes place at midday on Saturday beginning from outside the Marlborough Pub & Theatre, Prince’s Street, finishing at Brunswick Square Gardens where the festival’s main event will be held.

The park event is open from 1pm to 6pm, providing a mixed programme including food stalls, a children’s area, and a main stage featuring music, poetry and speeches.

On the Trans Pride website there is advice for attendees on what to do in the event of an anti-trans protest, in light of the Lesbian Rights Alliance protest at Pride in London.

The group’s banners read ‘trans-activism erases lesbians’ and in an open letter to Stonewall they called to remove the ‘L’ out of LGBT.

The Brighton LGBTQIA+ community responded by launching an online video campaign in which many lesbians shared messages of solidarity, calling to keep the ‘L’ with the ‘T’.

Ms Washington said: “The outpouring of support we have had from people, particularly the #LwiththeT campaign, has been wonderfully heartening.

“We’ve had a huge uptick in people offering to volunteer to help out, which is testament to the support we have in Brighton and beyond.”

The two Trans Pride campaign messages are ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ and ‘Celebrating Gender Diversity in the Trans Community’.

Ms Washington, referring to the first message, said: “Trans rights are often discussed or written about by people who aren’t trans and don’t have expertise in the area.”

She said that minority groups within the trans community are also often erased, so to address this issue there will be a specific workshop run by, and for, trans people of colour.

“Similarly, non-binary people are too often ignored in discourse about trans issues — this year’s opening speech will be by a non-binary person.

“We should be campaigning for the rights of all of us to be ourselves, free from harassment and discrimination.”

For more information, visit: transpridebrighton.org