Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 01 June 2013

Brighton Transformed: Capturing The Lives Of Local Transgender People

QueenSpark Books, Brighton's community publisher, has launched an exciting new project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to record the lives of Transgender people living in Brighton and Hove.



'Brighton Transformed' will document life stories from Trans people to create a unique online archive, book, exhibition and radio documentaries in collaboration with RadioReverb, Brighton's local community radio station.

QueenSpark Books enables local people to tell their stories in their own words in order to document the rich history of the city, highlight the diversity of Brighton & Hove, encourage understanding of others' lives and preserve life stories which otherwise risk being lost.

 

Rory Smith, Chair of FTM Brighton said: 

"The Trans History project is a much-needed exploration into the diversity of gender expression within our communities.  

"Trans identities are often neglected, re-written or even erased from formal histories.  From young to old, many people question their gender identity, but often have no role models to turn to, heroes from history to admire.  

"This project is important, because if for no other reason, it says, "we were here"."

Although Brighton and Hove is traditionally a city which embraces a wide variety of people and lifestyles.

   

Trans people often face widespread discrimination and sometimes violence.
 
Project Co-ordinator Kathy Caton said: 

"This is a very exciting project which will result in a unique archive featuring, in their own words, the rich variety of Trans lives in Brighton today, it will document their significant contribution to the city's history and culture, and preserve previously untold stories for future generations, adding to a greater understanding of Trans lives."

Over the course of eighteen months, a team of trained volunteers will record stories from Trans contributors, which will be stored in an online archive.  

A book of life stories will be produced, together with a public exhibition and documentaries broadcast on RadioReverb.  

The project will be steered by Trans people who will define the content and outcomes.



by: Mike Cobley


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Photographer: Jen O'Neill
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