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[Image description: A photo from the upper window of The Marlborough Pub overlooking the street below which is filled with thousands of people for the Trans Pride Protest March]

With all of the uncertainty surrounding holding public events this summer, I think it’s best to be as transparent as possible about our plans for Trans Pride Brighton 2021. The safety of all the wonderful people who’ve supported our event over the years is at the forefront of our minds when making decisions.

Trans Pride Brighton will decide whether to go ahead with an in-person event by the 10th of April 2021 and will communicate this on our social media channels. If we have to postpone the in-person event, we will host a Trans Pride Online event on Saturday 17th July 2021.

I have to be honest and say that even after reading the latest Government advice the likelihood of us being able to hold an in-person event has not improved. We would not recommend rushing out to book travel and accommodation at this point. The risk that we may be forced into a last minute cancellation does not appear to have diminished, but we remain open-minded and will make a final decision by the 10th of April.  

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[Image description: Sarah Savage leaning out of a window holding a loud hailer]

Let me introduce myself, my name is Sarah Savage, my pronouns are she/her and I have been the chair of Trans Pride Brighton for the last 18 months. I was a member of the first ever TPB committee back in 2013 and have headed up the protest march team ever since. I am thankful and very aware of all the work that dozens of previous volunteers have put into building our charity. I want to continue that work by staying true to our ethos of grassroots community organising and also improve the sustainability of the charity. 

It goes without saying that the COVID-19 affected Trans Pride Brighton Online 2020 was unlike any event we have held before. I’m really proud of how the small team of volunteers dealt with the challenges that this brought. I loved how online communities reacted to our trans celebration.

Last year’s event was not problem free, however. The feedback survey has again highlighted issues with how Trans Pride Brighton interacts with people who have disabilities. The Trans Pride Online stream was beset by problems with subtitles and with the audio. We would like to apologise for this and commit to doing better in future. This is an issue that keeps coming up, that despite our best efforts we still fall short of being supportive to those who are most disadvantaged among our community. 

Members of the QTIPoC community have also raised valid concerns about how representative the structure of Trans Pride Brighton is and how the charity could do more to authentically represent our diverse community. We also would like to apologise for this and are thankful that we can have these conversations, but yet again this is a problem that has happened before. We can’t let this continue and it is obvious that something major within the structure of Trans Pride Brighton needs to change. 

If Trans Pride Brighton doesn’t have the trust of all members of our community, we will never have a truly successful event. It is clear that the structure of the charity must change and respond to the growth we have seen over the years.

In response we have applied for and won a grant from Comic Relief’s LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Recovery Fund, in partnership with METRO Charity and NAZ. The project this funds will allow us to bring in expert advice from equality specialists, taking the workload off the community volunteers’ shoulders. In the coming weeks we will be inviting local organisations to tender for this process to carry out an Equality Impact Assessment and write bespoke policies which will guide TPB’s actions in the future.   

The second part of this project is all about adding capacity and resilience to the committee. For the first time in our history we are able to pay trans and non-binary people to organise Trans Pride Brighton. We have been able to create two new positions, a Project Manager and a Community Manager who will work for two days a week for six months. This is really exciting and opens up a whole host of opportunities for the future of Trans Pride Brighton. 

At all stages we intend to listen to every individual and community who attend TPB each summer, there will be opportunities for consultation and feedback whenever possible. We will soon be starting a series of steering committees, inviting people to take part in shaping the future of our community event.

I believe that Trans Pride Brighton belongs to the community and whether we have an in-person or an online event in 2021, the future of our charity is looking bright. 

Trans Pride Brighton 2021 – Our plans for this summer.