What’s Trans Pride I hear you ask? Organised by volunteers who invite everyone who identifies as gender variant in any way and their loved ones. Trans Pride is a chance to celebrate and meet people in a supportive, empowered and proud environment. The weekend started in The Duke of York Cinema on Friday evening where we were treated to a selection of documentaries and fictional short films. My Generation/Patchwork lead by Fox and Lew provided an exclusive series of 12 films about gender variant individuals living in the UK, commissioned by All About Trans for Channel 4 and beyond. I was overwhelmed by the courage and honesty shown in each of these films and wish more people had a chance to see them.
Saturday’s activities began with a march which started outside the Marlborough pub and finished at the New Steine Gardens. I could hear angelic voices coming from the backstreets, Parochial Gardens to be exact. Ironic because Parochial means to focus on the small issues and after last night’s introduction to Trans Pride I am left realising this community cares about everyone and everything in this world. I am reminded of the early Pride demonstrations which were more political and social change orientated than party.
All ages were on the march, from children to grandparents. Accents from all over the world filled the air with excitement and optimism. I felt so proud to be involved in supporting this inclusive community.
The march walked up the rainbow flagged St James Street; shops displayed larger than life posters of Tran’s icons. Shopkeepers and passers-by watch and wave, the all-encompassing community spirit of Kemp Town giving me hope for the future for the rest of the world.
Arriving in the beautiful New Steine Gardens I am amazed by the amount of stalls offering information and support to the Trans community, the informal setting making it easy to ask anything. The main stage dominated the lower part of the gardens, opposite there is an Art Tent which also offers spiritual readings from the supporting religions. Workshops ran all day and ranged from ‘What makes a healthy relationship’ to ‘How to prevent homelessness’.
The main stage is eloquently compared by Nicole Gibson. Local MP Caroline Lucas spoke of her campaign to have a Trans medical centre in Brighton and we were entertained all afternoon by amazing acts including MC Smash, Seth Corbin, Jady Shaw, Poetry from a variety of readers, Nothing Yet, Daskinsey4 and the hilarious Sally Outen. The after party was at Brighton’s best alternative venue – The Brighton Arts Club. In my opinion the only venue that could do justice to The Trans Prom. I have never seen so many amazing outfits either. As I meandered the crowd, who fell about laughing to Bethany Black, and danced to The Dykeness and a variety of DJ’s I was surrounded by so many happy faces. Everyone felt safe to express themselves and let their hair down. I realise how lucky I am that I can pretty much always do that without fear of recrimination.
Sunday was a much gentler, meeting on the beach for a picnic. Again all ages met on the beach adjacent to New Steine Gardens, milling about getting to know each other sharing food, and laughter and even braving the water. We were so lucky to have incredible weather for the whole of Trans Pride. Maybe someone was smiling down on us I heard someone say.
Trans pride was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had in my life. Every human desires love, respect and acceptance and Trans pride promotes the concept of being proud every day. Doesn’t that sound like something that would benefit everyone in society?