IT HAS HAPPENED!
That’s right, Trans Pride 2015 has now happened and it was amazing. The end of a long long weekend has arrived and I am absolutely exhausted. I had a great time, met loads of new people and got to see loads more who I hadn’t seen in ages!
In it’s third year, with loads of volunteers, a free main park event and a new venue, this was the most successful so far, with an estimated 1000 plus people on the march alone, and a total footfall of 3085 and over 2000 unique visitors. I had a wonderful time. It was the biggest so far and unforgettable – even if I was so busy it went really quickly!
It has been a long time in the planning, and my first involvement practically was the photo shoot. We had professional photos taken, which were to be projected on the side of Brighton Town Hall on Saturday night. It was a great experience. There were a few of us that got it done, and even though the projections weren’t perfectly done (technical difficulties) it is great that they got to do it full stop. I know Tyler and Vince were both trying to get pictures of mine (I was at a family meal), but it was never really a clear one sadly!
When we arrived at the park, the first thing we did was start to set up. But after finding our spot, quickly we were asked if anyone had a bowl. The person setting up for Stonewall Housing had tied her dog up to a tree and asked for people to keep an eye on her, and we were quick to help. I adore animals as I have said before so I was quickly giving her lots of attention, and we moved her over to our tree and into the shade while her owner set up as did we. I spent ages fussing her, and that made the day there and then!
After set up, it was time for the march in solidarity! It was absolutely huge, as I mentioned before, there were an estimated 1000 plus people on the walk alone. We walked from the Malborough, around the pub, down the road and up St. James’ Street to the park. It was huge, and we got so many cheers on the way up! Loads of pictures got taken, and it was great to get the chance to march up with the FTM Brighton banner the same as last year with Ed and Jack.
Another fantastic part of the weekend, was that Steph – one of the organisers and a really good friend of ours – asked me to help with signing for the main park event! It was a phenomenal experience, and I had the good pleasure of working with Frances Coates, a fully qualified BSL interpretter. She was utterly fantastic and patient with me and my nerves, and even got me up on stage signing alone, while she sat on the floor and helped me to interpret. Fran also gave me her contact details, so we could stay in contact and I am so thankful. It will be great to get involved with some more stuff in the Brighton area around signing and the d/Deaf community and experience what I would like to carry on and do in future!
Another plus side was getting to see friends, new and old. There were a few in particular it was great to see and I wish I could mention them all. But especially Ben, Sabah, Jack, Kerry (and her daughter I hadn’t met before), and of course Brendan and Jess with baby Grace. It was great to see everyone there and I hope everyone had a good time, be they trans themselves or allies.
Then of course after the wonderful festivities of the first day (and the sunburn that resulted) there came the day of the picnic! I hadn’t taken part in the fun that night at Tramfrau like some others, instead being at a family meal where my brother proposed to his girlfriend (congratulations!), and in the morning Tyler and I were set to volunteer at Doggy Pride to get our tickets for Brighton Pride the week after. Unfortunately Doggy Pride was called off due to the ill weather and after some small set up, we had to quickly take everything down due to fears from Health and Safety for lightning hitting both spectators and dogs in a highly metal centric area (it was held in the Hove Recreational Ground where the Rugby club is located along with their rugby posts!).
In addition to the Doggy Pride event being postponed, the Trans Pride picnic had been moved into the Malborough pub for fears of the weather the night before. But despite initial concerns, it was great fun! We were in there from 12 till around 7, as we were allowed to bring in our own food that we would have eaten had we been on the beach. I met even more people than the day before and it was great fun to hang out with Tyler, Steph, Vince, Lizzi, Alice and loads of other people!
I even ended up playing pool with a guy I met outside who had been there all weekend from London, who’s mate who had flown in from Ireland helped us set up the balls (I may be a barman, but I still fail at setting up the table). I may have lost both games, but both times it was by a narrow margin of one ball to start and the black ball on our last game!
All in all it was a fantastic weekend, I am so happy to have been a part of it and if possible it’d be great to get involved again next year, if not with the organisation, with the signing again if I can!
Happy Trans Pride everyone!!