2013: First Trans Pride in the UK breaks new ground
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2013: First Trans Pride in the UK breaks new ground

Trans people have in recent years gained greater visibility and this is down to the hard work of individuals, such as those behind the first Trans Pride in the UK.

The organisers invited trans, intersex, gender variant, and gender queer people as well all their friends, family allies and supporters to join them in Brighton for a ground-breaking and celebratory weekend. It was packed with events including film screenings, a picnic, a dance party, and a march through the city centre.

Attendees gathered with banners outside the Marlborough pub on Princes Street on the Saturday, ready to march to New Steine Gardens, where a mini-festival awaited. The festival featured music, poetry, speakers, and a ‘Community Fayre’ staffed by local people. The march was said to be the first Trans Pride march in Europe, with around 450 people taking part.

Trans Pride support spread across the city – Brighton and Hove City Council and Sussex Police hoisted Trans Pride flags outside the civic building and Brighton police station respectively. Sussex Police also donated £400 to Trans Pride from the Police Property Act Fund.

The weekend was a huge success and a milestone event for the UK’s trans community, and Trans Pride Brighton and Hove has never looked back. Now a registered charity in England and Wales, it’s a grassroots, community-led organisation staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers. The organisers said:

‘We’re here to inspire all trans, intersex, gender variant and queer people to help us make a real difference. By promoting equality and diversity through visibility, we will educate and eliminate discrimination we face, and celebrate our unique history and gender diversity.’

In recent years Trans Pride has continued to grow. Brighton and Hove celebrated their fifth anniversary in 2018 and there was a whole week of events surrounding the Saturday march, including poetry nights, life drawing, a literary salon, an official opening party and an after party featuring a DJ set by writer Juno Dawson.  

In April 2019 London’s first ever Trans Pride was announced and is due to take place in Hackney, east London, in September. The organisers said the festival will include: ‘Live music, performances, a series of stalls from LGBTQIA+ organisations, panels/talks from inspirational trans people, artwork that explores our identity and much more’.

While the success of Brighton and Hove Trans Pride is cause for celebration, there remains a lot of work to do in terms of trans representation and acceptance in the UK.

Stonewall, along with trans organisations and others in the community, are campaigning for full trans equality.  You can read more about this in the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group’s Vision for Change.

We have made incredible progress toward LGBT equality over the last 30 years, but the fight is far from over.