Brighton's Trans Pride 2023: In Photos
© Photography by Zoë Schulz
In a world where trans people are constantly under threat, Trans Pride Brighton is a radiant reminder of the love and solidarity that so many hold in their hearts.
With weather warnings and last-minute venue changes, the day wasn’t without a hint of
melodrama, but the sun came out, and crowds showed up. Over thirty thousand spilled out across the streets of Brighton; trans people, queer people, and allies, marching together for liberation.
This year marked ten years since the very first Brighton Trans Pride – the first of its kind in Europe – and although much has changed over the last decade, it can often feel like we are facing an uphill battle for fundamental human rights. This is why seeing the sheer numbers of people flood the city felt so monumental: a physical testimony to how many are ready to stand up and fight for a world where every single trans and gender non-conforming person can truly live freely.
See and hear from the voices of those who were there.
Xandice Armah, he/they (left in photo)
“Seeing everyone turn up today is a reminder that we're not alone. We're supported. There is a vocal group that spews a lot of hate and bile online and in the media, but the majority of people love and care about trans people. We are everywhere, and we deserve access to health care, human rights, and to live long, prosperous lives.”
Sidney Packard, they/them/she/her
“Brighton Trans Pride is an event where I can be myself, my true authentic self. It's a march where everyone, both trans and cis people, come together to push for a more inclusive society. I'm a trans person, and when I'm in public, I very regularly get people looking at me like a freak, like I'm disgusting or I'm funny for expressing my true authentic self. The cisnormative world we live in hurts everyone, both men and women and people in between. It gives you strict guidelines on what you should wear, how you should act, how you move and it's damaging for all. Brighton Trans pride is stopping that.”
Gaylien de Mars, they/them
“People are afraid of what they don’t understand, which is why visibility is so important. We exist, and we know what’s best for ourselves.”
“I wasn’t sure what to write as a sign because I do feel a lot of pain and anger around the political climate, but I went with something positive because I wanted trans people to feel some joy or comfort when they saw it! A couple of people approached me and said it made them emotional, so I’m glad I did it.”
Percy Non Grata, he/him
“Trans pride is about realising you're not alone in feeling the way you do. It's about not having to explain yourself over and over again to people who don't understand - it's about being fully understood and embraced by your fellow trans siblings and just being able to exist peacefully together. I love being trans, and it's only through being in trans spaces that I have been able to let myself feel pride and love for the way I am!”
Morgan 'Mal' Lee, they/them
"Trans pride is about being your full self, surrounded by your community, without worrying about the comfort of cis people. I am more myself than I’ve ever been, and that includes being a loud trans fag. It felt incredible to be seen and accepted as such by thousands of other trans people and allies."
Trans people in the UK are currently waiting up to seven years to access life-saving care on the NHS; an astronomical wait time only adding to the increased mental health and suicide rates faced. On top of this the UK government has been promising to ban conversion therapy for over five years with no results and the media continues to inflame misinformation across the country. All of this has created an environment that feels ever more hostile, and never has visible and radical allyship been more important.
Cries for a better health care system and a ban on conversion therapy were noted on some of the many signs held high, alongside, “I will not disappear,” and “I love my trans son.” The grassroots, community-led event is worlds away from the corporate wash that many Prides have become, with the event feeling intimate even with tens of thousands present.
Living in a time where trans voices are consistently silenced and their needs diminished, we all have a responsibility to help create a world where trans people are valued and protected. We all benefit from a society with trans liberation, one which centres empathy and kindness, where those most marginalised are uplifted. Trans Pride Brighton is a crucial part of the puzzle to create this.