By Mitch Kellaway
Originally published on Advocate.com August 23 2014 7:00 AM ET
Brighton Trans*formed — a new multimedia project capturing the oral histories of transgender, genderqueer, and intersex people in Brighton and Hove, U.K. — is truly a community endeavor. It's hard to find a medium its creators haven't covered, from film, to radio, to photos, to print.
Over 18 months, 23 in-depth interviews were conducted by a team of transgender volunteers with a variety of trans people between 18 and 81 years old.
By gathering histories, voices, and lively pictures, Brighton Trans*formed aims to document trans people's "significant contribution to the city's history and culture, and preserve previously untold stories for future generations," project cocoordinator Kathy Caton explained to Brighton Magazine.
The city, though known for its diversity, has seen a lot of discrimination, and even outright violence, towards trans people in the past. The Brighton Trans*formed exhibit has toured in as many forms and venues as possible — including a library, a church, a tattoo studio, a trans pride parade, and a pub — to raise awareness about these ongoing prejudices, as well as the triumphs of its participants.
This September, the photographs and interviews will also be published in a book from QueenSpark, Brighton's community press. A community radio station, RadioReverb, will broadcast interview recordings.
"Trans histories are often neglected, re-written, or even erased from formal histories," FTM Brighton Chair Rory Smith told Brighton Magazine. "This project is important because, if for no other reason, it says 'we were here.'"
Photography by Sharon Kilgannon, alonglines.com
Meet some of Brighton's trans residents in the following pages.
Rebecca (far right)