Trans Pride Brighton – A Retrospective


Trans Pride Brighton

Another year has passed and once again I’m sat in my living room, wearing pyjamas in the afternoon and welling up with pride thinking of all that happened over the last few days. Every year in the stressful few weeks before Trans Pride I mutter to myself that I’m never doing this again but in the days following each year, I’m reminded why we all work so hard to give our communities this one weekend to celebrate who we are and I cannot imagine life without it.

When some people on social media talk about Trans Pride Brighton they often mention Fox and me but seem unaware of the monumental effort put in by all the other committee members so I just want to take a moment to give some deserved credit to these people. We all volunteer our time through the year, this adds up to hundreds of hours of commitment and lost sleep.

In no particular order; our project manager, Phoenix Thomas who has motivated me more than anyone before, stepping down this year to concentrate on bigger and better things. We wish you well, Phoenix, without you Trans Pride Brighton wouldn’t be where it is today. Thank you.

Stephanie Scott, who works tirelessly with the local trans communities isn’t given enough credit either, they have been with Trans Pride since the very beginning and has steered the committee through tough times and good. Thank you.

Vern Collins is our Chief Volunteer Wrangler which is another thankless task, this year was especially difficult with volunteers going AWOL but Vern rose above the stress and handled it wonderfully. Thank you.

Angela Green is new this year but she has settled in quickly helping to arrange the acts on stage and the gig on Saturday evening, her help with putting out the last minute fires made sure that Trans Pride was a storming success. Thank you.

Darren O’Donoghue managed the stage for the second year, his organisation and people skills made sure that the afternoon ran smoothly and I hope we can use more of your skills over the winter. Thank you.

Kai Moore is another new member who has proved themselves invaluable this year, Maeve Devine with her Allsorts hat on helped with making Trans Pride family friendly, Christina Niewiadowski brought great energy to the committee, Roni Guetta and Giorgia Dainese organised the amazing Traumfrau afterparty, Sharon Kilgannon, Christina Bentley and Kate Adair taking photos and film to document the now historic Trans Pride. Thank you.

To those who I’ve missed out, I’m sorry, my brain is still all melted and forgetful. Thank you too. The support we’ve received makes it worthwhile, when we started out I remember us deciding that the first Trans Pride Brighton would be a success if 300 people turned up and now we have an attendance well into the thousands.

With Trans Pride growing so fast comes another set of problems though, how do we keep our ethics without selling out? The vultures are beginning to circle. This year we had some people turn up from North Wales to sell a trolley full of rainbow flags and typical Pride tat, they turned up and asked to be allowed on site, promptly misgendered two committee members and said it was OK because they had a gay son. Just one example of how we must guard ourselves from being exploited.

I saw a poster with the phrase “Nothing About Us Without Us” and I think that sums up the whole committees feelings well. One of our policies is to make sure that any community group we work with has a provable history of directly helping trans people, we will not allow ourselves to be exploited by someone who wants to make themselves look good but can’t back that up with actions, or by those who want to make a quick profit from trans people without feeding it back into our communities.

The committee have always wanted Trans Pride to be able to pay back into the community, from simple things like being able to help with the volunteers lunch and travel costs to bigger projects which make the every day lives of trans people better. More than just one weekend in July. To do this we must solve the funding issue, the donations from our communities haven’t increased at the same rate as the attendance numbers but because trans communities are so marginalised we are way more likely to be poor. We must explore other methods of fundraising, awards and grants in the future to keep our event a grassroots, community effort.

The vision set out for Trans Pride has always been to be different from other Pride events around the country, for us to never become commercialised, sponsored by some corporation with dubious ethics and a spotty trans awareness record. We must protect our communities from being exploited and also keep up with the continued growth of our amazing event.

The future for Trans Pride Brighton is looking rosy, we are so thankful for the outpouring of support from trans people and their allies. We will continue to improve whilst keeping in mind that phrase, ‘nothing about us without us‘.


6 thoughts on “Trans Pride Brighton – A Retrospective

  1. Every year it gets better and better and this year’s venue was the best yet with plenty of room for people to spread out and have picnics. I met people from far and wide and it shows that many are prepared to pay and travel long distances to attend. I for one would be more than happy to pay a fiver or something in future on the door and I am sure this would help to make the event even more spectacular! It is all too easy to take all the volunteers for granted and we should not allow that to happen. The only teeny observation I have is that I could not find anywhere other than the bar to have a nice cup of tea or coffee but I am sure with a little more funding from the attendees, this and other exciting things could be made possible. Meanwhile, looking forward to next year and once again, thank you to all the organisers!

  2. Honestly every year I am so fucking proud of all of the hard work and dedication that goes towards making the event.
    Please do not loose faith, we will keep being what we are, it will just take some hard work <3

  3. Thank you and also for all the others who made this event such a lovely day out and yes I thought that the ‘tacky trolley’ was out of place too.

  4. Sarah, I know I speak for most of my fellow volunteers, we would much rather you used the funds to make sure that this remains an event for the community, run by the community, the offer of lunch is great, but that is not why |I volunteered, I was proud to be wearing my HiVis vest on the day, proud of the town, proud of those out in public for the first time, and proud to have been part of an event where there was so very much positivity (is that a word???) from everyone.

    I met new friends and old, and I know that I have many more to make, thank you all, the organising committee, the volunteers, those who traveled from all over the world to join in, it was truly our event, and one of which we should hold our heads up high and say, we celebrated with Pride! x

  5. Thank you, Sarah, for writing this. Thank you to everyone who helped organise Trans Pride Brighton. Me & my trans son come every year. In so few years, it has become an institution, which we very much enjoy, and an event which we very much support.

  6. Thank you Sarah and to everyone involved for such a wonderful day on Saturday. 💐

    Being free is part of what makes this amazing event so inclusive. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be happy to make a regular monthly donation as a private individual to help make ends meet and reduce the pressure to seek commercial sponsorship in future?


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