Thirteen years ago in 2009, Rachel Crandall from Michigan took it upon herself to raise the visibility of a community who are all too often forgotten about. Despite a plethora of cultures having varying approaches to gender and despite the visibility of certain high profile transgender figures, trans and nonbinary issues have only recently risen to prominence in public media. Transgender and nonbinary communities existed before the inception of the gender binary, albeit under different names, and yet many have remained invisible to the naked eye. Rachel Crandall saw this as an opportunity.
In Rachel’s own words,
“I went on Facebook and I was thinking…whenever I hear about our community, it seems to be from Remembrance Day which is always so negative because it’s about people who were killed… So one night I couldn’t sleep and I decided why don’t I try to do something about that?”
Trans Day of Visibility in Sussex
Trans Day of Visibility started on March 31st 2009 and has attracted more attention as every year has passed. Trans Day of Visibility is about exactly that: visibility. As someone from the trans-nonbinary community myself, I thought it fitting to raise visibility of some of the best projects in Sussex that are empowering and supporting people such as myself, as well as some news from the Sussex Community Foundation team.
Our fund-holders have allowed these projects to flourish and we would like to formally thank everybody that assisted their progress in the last few years.
The Clare Project, Brighton
Many specifically trans and nonbinary focused charities struggle to receive the funding they require, which means that services and resources for this community are limited. The Clare Project is one example of a charity that is as focused as it is effective, providing social drop ins, online workshops, 1:1 support and more for transgender, nonbinary and intersex (TNBI) people.
The Clare Project is Brighton’s only TNBI organisation and they work closely with QTIPoC (Queer, Transgender and Intersex People of Colour) Narratives Collective, ensuring that specific support is provided to TNBI people from minority ethnic groups such as myself. They also work hard to support those struggling with homelessness, experiencing violence and financial difficulties.
BourneThisWay is an LGBTQ+ parent support group in Eastbourne that provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ parents, their children and potential parents. As many LGBTQ+ parents are the subject of stigma and judgement, BourneThisWay provides an essential service to the people of Eastbourne.
Most recently, BourneThisWay supported a football game with the Eastbourne Borough Inclusive Recreational Team as they took on the Lewes Women’s Vets in order to raise awareness of transphobia in football. On Trans Day of Visibility, they even went on BBC Radio Sussex to talk about their mission and the way they can support TNBI and, more broadly, the LGBTQ+ community.
The SCF Team Get Allyship Training from Switchboard
This week, the SCF team got allyship training from Talycia Nayee, Training and Inclusion Manager at Switchboard. Through the training, our team were provided with a safe space to ask any questions they wanted answered, which empowered us to challenge internal biases and become stronger allies to each demographic within the LGBTQ+ community.
The topics that we covered included:
- The importance of pronouns
- The broad spectrum of people within the LGBTQ+ community
- The use of neopronouns
- Statistics relating to challenges that trans and nonbinary people face
- The intersection of race and gender
By the end of the session, each member of the team was suggesting new ways for SCF to support the LGBTQ+ community in our daily lives. Talycia was kind enough to provide some feedback on the team, stating:
“The team over at Sussex Community Foundation were a delight to train. We were able to discuss key issues in society for LGBTQ+ communities, as well as some of the barriers to accessing funding for the LGBTQ+ community and voluntary sector. I would be very happy to train them again!”
While these specific non-profits caught our attention, it is important to raise awareness of additional platforms and spaces throughout Sussex that can help transgender and nonbinary people by providing safe spaces, EDI training for organisations, access to mental health support and protection against violence.
Mental Health Support for TNBI People:
Empowering LGBTQ+ Art Initiatives:
- Socially Engaged Art Salon, Brighton
Rose Hurley, Marketing and Communications Executive