Trans Pride is just around the corner and with a whole host of events on show to help celebrate trans and non-binary people across the city, Jamie Walker spoke to Abby and Lee who co-ordinate the Trans Pride Season to see what it’s all about

Brighton Pride is one of the biggest weekends on the city’s calendar, attracting thousands of people from across the world descending upon the city during the opening weekend of August.

However, there is one group in the city who are taking back some of the power with their own festival.

Trans Pride has been running for five years now, promoting equality by allowing the trans and non-binary communities in Brighton and Hove the opportunity to celebrate themselves.

Running since 2013, Trans Pride takes place across a weekend in July, before the bigger Pride takes over, but there are events that run throughout the month that allow the trans community to explore all there is to offer across the city.

Abby Butcher and Lee Smith are two of the minds behind Trans Pride season events and Lee says the idea behind the shows is to celebrate groups that aren’t always showcased: “We’re not always reflected in bigger Pride festivals, and we still have our own issues that we’re fighting for in terms of legal representation and adequate health care.

“There’s definitely crossover – a lot of trans and non-binary people go to Pride events across the country – and likewise we’d encourage our LGBTQ+ allies to come and celebrate Trans Pride with us too.”

Trans Pride 2018 runs for July 20 to 22 but the Trans Pride season kicks off on Sunday.

From life drawing to literary events, music to stage show, the Trans Pride season offers an eclectic mix of wacky and wonderful escapes for the trans and non-binary community.

The flagship show is the Trans Pride Art Night.

Abby says that it is a chance to really give those in attendance a night jam-packed with entertainment: “Artists take over the entire building; we’ll have artists on the street outside, people performing on the bar, we’ve got performers in our office, we’re taking over the whole space. It’s about positive vibes and safe spaces.”

The events are all taking place at The Malborough Pub and Theatre in the city centre, a venue well known for its connection with the LGBTQ+ community.

Abby says that being able to host the events in The Malborough allows regulars and newcomers alike to partake in the events without feeling like they’re entering an entirely new space: “We’re an LGBTQ+ venue. Trans Pride is always very important to us. Not all the work is about being trans, the focus for us is about giving these artists a platform.

“You can just be in the pub having a drink and you’ll be able to see some brilliant performance art.”

Lee adds that the layout of the venue and its accessibility means that they can put on more high-brow events without excluding anyone: “It has a really easy entry point, in that it’s a social space for trans and non-binary people.

“They come to the pub and hang out with their friends and through that it makes it easier for them to access what can seem like high-brow or inaccessible art and theatre. It’s a nice stepping stone.”

“It’s a really friendly, welcoming, open venue. It’s not a big theatre or arts venue, you can come and have a drink and enjoy the art, it’s quite low key.”

The Trans Pride season kicks off on Sunday with the photography event Looking At Me, Looking At You and ends on August 2 with If Britney Could Get Through 2007 We Can Get Through This.

The LGBTQ+ community in Brighton is clearly in a very strong place at the moment, and with Trans Pride, as well as Pride itself, on the horizon, there is plenty out there to help celebrate diversity in our fine city.