Voices


Young people from across Brighton & Hove who do and don’t identify as LGBTQ+ were interviewed about their thoughts and experiences on a number of themes. Listen to their stories here.

“I feel super gay, but I like it.”

Transcript I’m from Desborough, which is in Northamptonshire. And I’m from Rugby, which is in Warwickshire. I’ve always wanted to come to Brighton Pride. Always. I’ve seen pictures of it and just wanted to go. You can just be who you want to be and it’s just like “cool, go with it”. In everyday life you don’t […]

Dean Atta

Writer and performance poet Dean Atta worked with young people and teachers during the project, and has generously contributed some of his writing for presentation on this website to accompany the resources he has written for teachers. For more information about Dean see his website here.  

“I’m in the process at the moment of questioning things and working it out. I feel like if I try and put too much of a label on it then I’m restricting it too much”

Transcript I use they/them pronouns. Sexual orientation wise, I usually would just say I’m gay, because it’s not necessarily associated with being agender. If you want to get a little bit more in depth about it, it’s somewhere between bisexual and pansexual, depending how you’re defining these, because to me I’d say bisexual is my […]

“I guess it's chill to realise that you can be androgynous and not just a stereotype of a girl”

Transcript I’m sixteen. I identify as a bisexual female and I live in Shoreham, but mostly Brighton, born in Brighton. Well I kind of realised that I don’t like just boys, I like girls too.  I guess it’s weird being like “Oh! there’s a label for that!” Because I didn’t really know that there was, […]

“I haven’t worked it out. How do you come out to your mum?”

Transcript My friends are pretty open and accepting of it. My family doesn’t know that I like girls a bit, but that’s fair enough. They will do at some point, but they probably already have guessed. I think I just haven’t really come to the point where I am comfortable enough with myself to be […]

“If everyone was just accepting, that’d be cool wouldn’t it?”

Transcript I’m sure I’d love to be part of the change in the future, the same way anyone would. That’s quite an exciting opportunity. I think it would be cool if, in the future, kids didn’t feel a weird stigma that they have to necessarily know what they are, that you definitely even have to […]

“This is just part of who I am and I should accept that. Everybody else should accept that and if they can’t, then that’s their problem”

Transcript I think with my sexual orientation, I’ve always known that I like a spectrum of people. I think it was only when I became a teenager that I realised that not everybody felt like that. I was like ‘I’m just not going to deal with that anymore’. I sort of denied it to myself […]

“Being part of this project has opened my mind to identities out there that I didn’t know existed. So I’m trying them on to see how they fit”

Transcript With my gender identity, it’s something I’ve always contemplated, but I’ve never had the words to be able to describe what I’m feeling. Being part of this project has opened my mind to identities out there that I didn’t know existed. So I’m trying them on to see how they fit. I’ve started using […]

“In Brighton, I think sexuality wise, it's a lot more accepting ”

Transcript In Brighton, I think sexuality wise, it’s a lot more accepting and some people have more of an understanding of the gender side of things. So I’m not having to explain pronouns and things to everybody, they already know a little bit. But then when I go back home, I have to bring up […]

“That’s just how they are, so I’m quite happy. It went as well as it could do I think”

Transcript I think so, I think with my parents it’s quite hard to tell. I actually came out in the exhibition in the project. I was making a photo album inspired by the ones that we’d seen at The Keep in the archive, where this person had documented their lives in a way that people […]

“One thing I’ve noticed I start doing now is when I meet someone new, I don’t just ask their name, I ask their pronouns as well”

Transcript I definitely want to be part of the change. I think it would be quite hard to be a part of this project and not want to change everybody else. I think it starts with small changes in people’s attitudes. One thing I’ve noticed I start doing now is when I meet someone new, […]

“I was told by someone, well actually by a few people, that I am the most gay person they know”

Transcript I identify, I guess, Trans-masculine non-binary are the words I usually use, but it’s kind of fluid. I was told by someone, well actually by a few people, that I’m the most gay person they know and I’m the most visibly queer person. I find that really interesting that when I’m in queer settings, […]

“I thought I might try out male pronouns and that felt right”

Transcript I’m thirteen and I identify as a D.M Trans-gender. I live in Newhaven. Well, I identified as a lesbian for a year. I was struggling with my gender identity and then I was like ‘OK, well, I do like this.’ I thought I might try out male pronouns and that felt right. I mean […]

“My friends are completely accepting”

Transcript Are your friends and family accepting of your identity? My friends are, my family isn’t so much. There was one friend, when I came out to them, they stopped talking to me and I haven’t spoken to them since. My family has got more accepting, they still aren’t completely there yet, but my friends […]

“I want it to change that people don’t label people as soon as they see them”

Transcript I would and I think I want it to change that people don’t label people as soon as they see them. So they would ask a person what they identify as, before they make assumptions, because that always annoys me. How does it feel when people do that to you? It feels really not […]

“There were so many other people that I could relate to there.”

Transcript How did you find coming to Pride when we went out as part of this project? I felt really happy that I went there, because there were so many other people that I could relate to there. I felt like one of the Pride. Feeling and seeing so many other diverse people brave enough […]

“I love Pride. It's one of my favourite days of the year”

Transcript My pronouns are she or her. I love Pride. It’s one of my favourite days of the year. Getting to have fun and dance with all my friends. It’s important because it’s about allowing LGBTQ+ people to be who they are without being ashamed of it. Allowing us to be proud of our identities, […]

“I feel like once I have chosen an identity, or found myself, I will be accepted”

Transcript I’m sixteen. I am a female. Not entirely sure of everything else, but you know we’re getting there. I live in Shoreham, born in Brighton. I’m a Brightonian at heart. I’ve always been fairly sure I’m a female. I like being girly. I’ve always been pretty girly. I remember being a child, wearing dresses. […]

“I think we need to have, globally, acceptance of everyone and unknown identities, unknown genders”

Transcript I feel like the majority of people nowadays are more accepting, but there are still people who aren’t accepting. People who aren’t accepting tend to be a lot worse, so in places where you’re not accepted, it is much worse for the people who are “not normal”. I think we need to have, globally, […]

“I don’t think I have a single straight friend, so they're all very accepting”

Transcript I don’t think I have a single straight friend, so they’re all very accepting and they’re always ‘yeah we understand’. It’s nice to be in a group where everyone is in a minority that you can relate to.

“I’m getting kind of annoyed at the way that being a gay man is kind of seen as the most culturally valid form of being queer”

Transcript I would call myself a cis-gay man. Increasingly, I’m getting kind of annoyed at the way that being a gay man is kind of seen as the most culturally valid form of being queer. As much as I define myself as that, I’m kind of using that word to remind myself that I have […]

“I decided to come to Pride today because, number one, I am very rainbow”

Transcript My pronoun is he or they. I decided to come to Pride today because, number one, I am very rainbow. I also feel that Pride is always, we can express us in the LGBTQ+ community. Now in normal society, one can’t express themselves as fully as one can at Pride, which is why I […]

“My dad’s side of the family is actually Muslim and I haven’t come out to them”

Transcription When I was one, my mum and my dad split up. So I go to my dad’s side of the family every weekend, or every other weekend. But my dad’s side of the family is actually Muslim and I haven’t come out to them, because of that, because as you know, it’s generally true […]

“It should be a Pride Day, Day of Pride, everywhere has it on the same day.”

Transcription Really, it’s only like a couple of days isn’t it? Everybody’s Prides, like Leicester Pride is on one day and York Pride is on another. I feel like it should be a Bank Holiday. It should be a National Bank Holiday. Then you’d get an extra day off if you’re working. It should be […]

“I enjoy being open and feeling like part of the community”

Transcription Why did you decide to come to Pride today? Because I’m Prideful! I believe it’s a really important event. I enjoy being open and feeling like part of the community. I like how comfortable it feels to be openly queer as hell!

“I talk to most of my friends. Quite a lot of them are queer, so it's fine. Then the ones that aren't, I try and talk to them and they ignore me”

Transcription I do not talk to my family, that has not happened yet. It’s going to happen before I graduate from uni, because I want to change my name before I graduate, so it’s on my certificate. But, I have not told them yet and that’s going to be interesting, because I do not have […]

“I have to consider passing as male, so I don’t get horrifically mis-gendered everyday”

Transcript If I was assigned male at birth, I think I would be more androgynous than I am, because I feel such a need to overcompensate. It’s really tricky being because I have to consider passing as male, so I don’t get horrifically mis-gendered everyday. So I overcompensate to look male and then I undercompensate […]

“I’ve always questioned my gender and I’m still not really sure”

Transcript For me as a child, I’ve always questioned my gender and I’m still not really sure. I’ve always felt more demi-girl. So when I wear not girly things and I wear more kind of boyish, tom-boy kind of clothing, I always felt quite good. I feel like, ‘Yes! I feel so comfortable and happy […]

“Sometimes I feel like I want to wear more feminine clothing, but mostly I wear masculine clothes to present how I’d like my pronouns to be”

Transcript I generally dress to how I feel on the day, because sometimes I feel like I want to wear more feminine clothing, but mostly I wear masculine clothes to try and present how I’d like my pronouns to be. I do dress how I want quite a lot. I go out and buy all […]

“It kind of changes how people think about you and how they act around you”

Transcript I identify as a trans guy. It kind of affects your life quite a bit. Depending on your genuine sexuality, it kind of changes how people think about you and how they act around you. I started off just thinking I was Bi and everything and then I thought I was a Lesbian for […]

“You could scream anything from the top of your lungs about your sexuality, or acceptance and everyone would probably just yell ‘Cool!’ back”

Transcript My pronouns are they or he. I went to Brighton Trans Pride two weeks ago. It was amazing! Everyone was just so nice and I ended up making new friends. I love the atmosphere it’s amazing. You could scream anything from the top of your lungs about your sexuality, or acceptance and everyone would […]

“I took a long time to figure out exactly what my gender was and I’d been questioning it for a very long time”

Transcript When I was first coming to terms with being transgender, it was a huge part of my life and it was all I could think about for a while. But now that I’ve accepted it a bit more and settled down, it’s not such a huge part of my life, which is quite nice […]

“It shows we're a part of society. Everyone feels like they can express themselves in their own way. They don’t have to hide away”

Transcript Why did you decide to come to Pride today? Because it’s a celebration of LGBTQ+ freedom, in a way, and I feel like I’d like to celebrate that. It shows off the LGBTQ+ community. It shows us in a good light. It shows we’re a part of society. Everyone feels like they can express […]

“My parents bought me the ticket to Pride for Christmas”

Transcript If there’s, especially queer teenagers that might not have money, might not have supportive parents. I mean my parents bought me the ticket to Pride for Christmas, so I’m not in that position, but for other kids who don’t have that money and don’t have a way of getting money, who want to be […]

“I’d almost been out a year and so I wanted to feel like I was really part of the community and fully comfortable with my identity”

Transcript I think last year was the first year I would have been able to go to Pride out. It was quite upsetting for me to not be able to go. I felt like I was missing out on something. I’d almost been out a year and so I wanted to feel like I was […]

“I remember the one time I actually said to a group of people that I was straight and it was when I was really uncertain”

Transcript When I was younger, I never really thought about it. I was the annoying child that was quite boy crazy, so I always had that, but I never particularly… I started wondering about it from about twelve/thirteen. It was more that I was worried that because I was wondering about it, it was then […]

“I feel happy with how I identify. I’ve got a lot of choice. That’s quite nice”

Transcript I feel happy with how I identify. I’ve got a lot of choice. That’s quite nice. If there weren’t any prejudice in the world I’d probably choose this sexuality anyway, just out of more choice. You’ve got more people who can like you. That’s quite nice. My parents are pretty open about a lot […]

“This is my first Pride. I thought it would be a really nice opportunity to be around more people like me”

Transcript My pronoun’s he. This is my first Pride. I thought it would be a really nice opportunity to be around more people like me, to see it and for it to be quite visible that a lot of queer people are in one place. I thought it’d be a really nice experience and I […]

“Although I identify as male, I still quite like wearing feminine clothes”

Transcript Although I identify as male, I still quite like wearing feminine clothes and I wear dresses a lot, so I think people don’t really think any of it. I’ve just got short hair and that’s really it and I don’t really make an effort to pass, because I don’t think it’s going to work. […]

“I think representation is important”

Transcript Why do you think Pride is important? I think representation is important and even if people who haven’t experienced it don’t feel like discrimination happens, I think it does and it needs to be recognised.

“I went to quite a religious school where it wasn’t really acceptable to talk about being gay”

Transcript I was born in a fairly large town in Northern Ireland, which really didn’t have any kind of queer scene to speak of. It was really not. I went to quite a religious school, where it wasn’t really acceptable to talk about being gay. It was very much the kind of place where gay […]

“To show that solidarity is very important I think”

Transcript My pronoun is she. I would just simply identify as a lesbian woman. I guess the reason that everyone comes to Pride is to feel part of a group of people that needs extra support as humans, but it also epitomizes the need for human togetherness and I like to be part of that […]

“I don’t really mind what pronouns people use. I normally put ‘they’ on my sticker, because it’s easier than writing ‘whatever takes your fancy!”

Transcript My pronoun, I don’t really mind what pronouns people use. I normally put ‘they’ on my sticker, because it’s easier than writing ‘whatever takes your fancy!’ In terms of sexuality, I identify as pan-sexual and my gender is gender fluid. It hasn’t really affected anything, in terms of relationships, apart from the fact my […]

“I realised the things that made me identify as one or the other, were inherently really sexist“

Transcription I am pansexual and agender. Pansexual is when you’re sexually attracted to people based more on their personality than their genders, or physical appearance. Agender is, I don’t really subscribe to male or female, or any of the other variants. I worked out that I was not straight when I was fairly young, when […]

“So me and my mum came out to each other!”

Transcription I’m bisexual, kind of always knew. Since I was in primary school. I think Year 3, I ran home and told my mum I had a girlfriend and then she was like ‘Oh yeah! The same!’. So me and my mum came out to each other! That happened. That’s the story.

“They're always asking me what certain words mean for certain things”

Transcription Do you talk to your friends and family about your chosen identity, if not, do you want to talk about it to them? I do talk to them about it, because I have younger siblings. They’re always asking me what certain words mean for certain things. Sometimes it’s nice to speak about it to […]

“The school’s good to speak to, but they won’t really solve any of the issues that they’re having”

Transcription How is your school in terms of LGBTQ+? They’re good. They make sure that whoever you are, you always feel comfortable at school and they always talk about identification and how it’s OK if you’re confused or not. They’re always very open about it. I think they’re quite good at it, but I don’t […]

“There were people playing ukuleles and singing. It was so open and it was so lovely”

Transcription Have you ever been to Pride? If so, when? How did you find it? My first time at Pride was last year and it was actually my friend’s birthday. We were on the bus going to Pride and I knew it was Pride, so of course I got myself flower crowns, because I had […]

“I do have a lot of transgender and gay friends. Sometimes I do talk to them about stuff like this, because I want to learn more. I want to make sure I understand it”

Transciption Do you have friends who are LGBTQ+? Yes, we have quite a few. Sometimes it’s difficult. My friend is transgender and at first, not in a mean sense, it was a bit odd calling them by their name as they came out. I kept accidentally calling them by their given name. But I’ve come […]

“I think mainly in school we're taught what everything means, but not really any of the past history from it”

Transcription Do you have any knowledge of LGBTQ+ history? I think mainly in school we’re taught what everything means, but not really any of the past history from it. I remember we got taught about the laws of when gay marriage was legalised. But if you gave me a picture ‘What did this man do […]

“My sister’s girlfriend, her mother didn’t approve of it really and spent a long time trying to make sure she didn’t feel comfortable”

Transcription I know in other places it is really difficult for them to actually be themselves. I know some religions can’t do it. I read a fact that 82% of countries kidnap and torture gay men and I feel like it’s difficult in other places. I feel like as the UK and America we’ve grown […]

“I think in this age and generation, nobody should be afraid to do anything”

Transcription I think, if I could give any suggestion, I think it would be just to find someone that you can talk to about it that you trust. If you don’t want to talk about it, I think what I always do, go on to Youtube or something like that and look at all the […]

“I feel like there’s a lot of ‘It’s OK to be this, it’s OK to be whatever you want to be’ but they don’t say how”

Transcription What role do you feel that the education system plays in this, if any? I think they’re quite good in helping to know what the meaning of everything is. Helping us to understand what LGBTQ+ actually is, but I don’t think they do much to help people find out what they are. Yeah, I […]

“At the end of the day, all we can really do is accept each other”

Transcription At the end of the day, all we can really do is accept each other. Because there’s so much that happens around the world, that just saying you love someone for who they are is just, could make their whole entire life, really. If your religion forbids it and you’re fine with that, then […]

“Certainly, in the last few decades, we've made great strides towards LGBTQ+ equality”

Transcription Certainly, in the last few decades, we’ve made great strides towards LGBTQ+ equality with stuff like the Supreme Court case that ruled unconstitutional the bans against same sex marriage. So I feel like I am accepted. There are still obviously some fringe groups that maybe don’t accept LGBTQ+ people,  but they’e certainly on the […]

“I've had quite a lot of hate. My grandma is really religious and she made me have an exorcism”

Transcription I’m from Desborough, which is in Northamptonshire. And I’m from Rugby, which is in Warwickshire. I’ve had quite a lot of hate. My grandma is really religious and then she made me have an exorcism, because she was ‘I want to free you from the devil that’s inside you. It’s making you do all […]

“I have never seen so many openly gay people. Never”

Transcription You come to Brighton and you’re like ‘Oh my God!’ I have never seen so many openly gay people. Never. In town, if I see someone who’s in an openly gay couple, I’m like ‘Yes!’ Yeah same! ‘There’s more of us!’ As soon as I came to Brighton and saw people holding hands, I […]

“I find it a bit overwhelming”

Transcription How do you feel about Pride? In general? I love it. It’s great. It can be a bit, as a local Brighton person, I find it a bit overwhelming.

“We don’t have equality yet and that’s really shocking”

Transcription We don’t have equality yet and that’s really shocking and depressing. As such, we need to make our voices heard and understand that just because Brighton’s all lovely most of the time, the rest of the world needs to hear it, we need to make a huge deal.

“Don't worry if you don’t know, it might take you a while. It has taken me three years”

Transcription I feel like I can talk about it now, but I never feel like you could when I was younger. There are some people now I can’t really talk to, because no matter how many times I tell them, they do not listen and it does not go in… my house mates. I think […]

“If they know about it when they’re young, they won’t be horrible to people who are queer”

Transcription When I was fourteen, I was definitely, ‘LGBTQ issues in my life’, at the time, not in ways that I identify now, because I’ve learnt about my gender and stuff. Then there was horrific bullying and we did not get even LGBTQ+ PSHE stuff until we were in sixth form, by which point it […]

“My school had a Stonewall award and I ended up running the LGBTQ+ group, so it was really great and really good fun. All of my teachers were completely supportive of me”

Transcription I think my mum is very supportive of me being Trans, but she finds it a bit confusing when I’m not entirely masculine. But at the same time, I think we have very open discussions about it and have sort of come to the conclusion that if I was assigned male at birth, then […]

“It's like a remembrance day. You remember a war because something bad happened. It’s the same for Pride. So many bad things have happened in history to gay people”

Transcription Me, I’m based in Colchester. And I’m based in Chelmsford. I think it’s important because it’s one part of the year where everyone can come together, let their hair down and not feel out of place. Obviously up and down the country different places, obviously with different groups of people, some places are a […]

“In the future it will become a lot easier to be yourself”

Transcription There are still people that aren’t really accepting. There’s a huge kind of revolution where everything’s coming OK to be trans, or gay, or bi, or whatever you are. In the future it will become a lot easier to be yourself.

“I’ve always kind of dressed like a tomboy since I was a kid. I hated girly things, but I’ve never really thought much of it”

Transcription I’m Josie, I take She pronouns. I’m Fay I also take She pronouns. I mean I’ve always kind of dressed like a tomboy since I was a kid. I hated girly things, but I’ve never really thought much of it. I quite like wearing checked shirts and stuff. I felt like, I don’t know, […]

“You can still hear people say fag and stuff. You still hear that”

Transcription It’s a very accepting place and people are so open about it here. It’s great because there aren’t many people who are still bad about it, and have bad attitudes. There’s always going to be some people. Yeah, always. You can still hear people say fag and stuff. You still hear that. That still […]

“It’s nice to feel a part of something”

Transcript Gay! I like showing off the gay! I like showing everyone that there are so many LGBTQ+ people, more than you think Yeah and it’s nice to feel a part of something. I feel very happy that I’m part of this community, because it’s such a lovely community. People are just amazing, so I […]

“Some people don’t like labels, but for me being bi has been something that’s meant quite a lot to me”

Transcript I identify as bisexual. I identify as pansexual. For me I think it’s quite important to how I identify. I know how it shouldn’t be. Some people don’t like labels, but for me being bi has been something that’s meant quite a lot to me from when I realised I was. I feel like […]

“Generally I identify as a girl, although some days I’m a little bit kind of not, so just like 97% girl or something”

How do you identify and what pronouns do you take? I take she/her pronouns and generally I identify as a girl, although some days I’m a little bit kind of not, so just like 97% girl or something. It was my first Pride ever in anywhere and it was brilliant, I absolutely loved it. Why […]

“It’s hard, but generally person-to-person I’m accepted”

Transcript I take she/her pronouns and generally I identify as a girl, although some days I’m a little bit kind of not, so just like 97% girl or something. I feel like it impacts my life. I personally don’t think it’s a massive thing, like ‘Eh, I’m a girl! Eh!’ But then other people are […]

“Brighton Pride, it’s sort of THE event of Brighton and also it’s an event celebrating my community”

  Transcript Brighton Pride, it’s sort of THE event of Brighton and also it’s an event celebrating my community. It’s the greatest community ever, just everyone is amazing and gay and happy and amazing and friendly.

“It’s increasingly becoming less of a political event and more of a just a big party, which annoys me a bit”

Transcription Well I’ve never seen the Brighton parade, but in Belfast and Dublin, the parade, at its best, is just really wacky and glamorous and full of music and just great. I think that it’s important to have a day that shows that we are here, but I think that it’s increasingly becoming less of […]

“Pride is important, because it allows us to be together in solidarity”

Transcription I think, at it’s best, Pride is important, because it allows us to be together in solidarity talking about being seen representing the issues that matter to us.

“We are only beginning to reach a period in culture where representatives of the kind of broader definitions of LGBTQ+ culture are being able to speak for themselves in the media”

Transcription The thing that most annoys me, this is particularly about the gay men’s press, but essentially how men of a very standardised body type and white men and often straight white men are kind of fetishised and celebrated in gay men’s media in a way that I think is really quite putrid. The fact […]

“I’m still actually quite new, to be completely honest, it hasn’t been long”

Transcription My pronoun is he or they. I have come from the sunny town of Worthing. I am gay definitely. I’m still actually quite new, to be completely honest, it hasn’t been long. Especially in Brighton, I do feel at home and part of it. When I wasn’t LGBTQ+, or didn’t feel LGBTQ+, or questioning, […]

“There was a time where I wasn’t at all comfortable with this and I was very sort of isolated”

Transcription There was a time where I wasn’t at all comfortable with this and I was very sort of isolated I felt. I mean my identity sexuality went from straight to bisexual, but not out at all and to gay, but very sort of slowly come out. Now I’m fully out, you know, I can […]

“My friends, luckily, are really accepting”

Transcript You know I’m still friends with my friends. My friends, luckily, are really accepting. I’ve had a few which have just completely turned me away and luckily I never have to see their faces again. My family are absolutely fine. I can admit my Welsh side of my family, and I’m not generalising at […]

“It’s a joint venture between being non-binary and also being male”

Transcript I’m gay and I like to think of myself as nanon-binary. Now this is quite weird, it’s not that heard of, but basically, it’s a joint venture between being non-binary and also being male. Majority male, but also minorly non-binary. When asked such things as ‘Are you male, or female, or other?’ I’d put […]

“My name has changed over the years, because I felt I couldn’t identify as my birth name”

Transcript My name has changed majoritively over the years from one thing to another, because I felt I couldn’t identify as my birth name. Over the years I’ve changed it and I’ve now come back to my original decision, as to be my original me. When it comes to chosen identity, it’s the typical, I […]

“I’ve been through a lot and I think I’m pretty happy where I am”

Transcript How important do you feel your gender/sexuality is to you? I feel it’s quite important. Gender wise, as I mentioned, I’m kind of here and there with it. It’s neither one or the other and I’m all right with that, so I guess we can sweep that under the carpet. Sexuality wise, on the […]

“A name isn’t everything”

Transcript It was Alfie, name wise, all the way up until an event happened when I was thirteen. After that, I didn’t necessarily think (and this was out of partial shame, partial anxiety-issues) that I decided from a point in time up until very, very recently, I couldn’t identify as my birth name, because I […]

“There are genuine points when I decide ‘Let’s pop this skirt on and let’s see the world!’”

Transcript Do you feel the way you dress accurately represents your identity? Is this relevant or important to you? Actually yes, it is relevant and important to me. But I don’t think it represents me. The reason is because the way I dress is the way I dress. It’s not the way anyone else dresses, […]

“The LGBTQ+ community is vibrant within my college, but is being drowned out when it comes to identity”

Transcript I go to college and they’re aware, but because of funding they had to stop the LGBTQ+ club. Just because of funding and possibly because my school is in a right-wing borough. Not saying everyone who is LGBTQ+ can’t be right-wing, but I know, and I’m very political, that the Conservative (now Conservative/Unionist party) […]

“I’d say Brighton Pride has a brilliant atmosphere”

Transcript Yes, I’ve been to two Prides actually. But it’s only two, over the course of God knows how many years I’ve been alive. I went to London Pride first. The fun thing was I was in a bus in the middle of the parade with my friends and that was fun waving at people […]

“I have a lot of LGBTQ+ friends. A lot of them identify as many different things”

Transcript I have a lot of LGBTQ+ friends. A lot of them identify as many different things. A lot of pan friends, a lot of bi friends, a lot of gay friends, lots of everything friends. Gender, sexual, everything. In the area we live in, Brighton and for me Worthing (a little less so, but […]

“It's nice to know that you’re part of something that's just brilliantly vibrant”

Transcript Do you feel part of an LGBTQ+ community? Definitely. Being gay, yes. Instantly yes. Also, having the community by one’s side, it’s nice to know that you’re part of something that’s just brilliantly vibrant. Something that will stand up against anything that they feel themselves isn’t right, regardless of anything that they come across, […]

“I know there was a lot of opposition against our community back in the old day”

Transcript I know  the first thing that pops into my head is that Shakespeare might have been gay, which is quite exciting actually when I found out about it quite recently, that’s pretty cool! I know… Is it? … What was the thing in Pride? Something and Miners.. Gays and Lesbians against the Miners? Gays […]

“In Russia, they're putting us in concentration camps”

Do you know anything about other people living as LGBTQ+ in the world? I know that in Russia it’s terrible. I also know that being LGBTQ+ is on pain of death in many countries. This includes, I think it might be Belize, I’ve forgotten, but they’ll kill you if they find out you are LGBTQ+. […]

“Politicians are there to represent us. We need to be political about our rights so that they get it”

Transcript Do you think people should be political about their rights as LGBTQ+ people? Yes, instantly so. Politics is what drives this country. Especially more so now than ever, because of Brexit and now because of the general election where the Tories won by a small margin, but I’m not going to go through that, […]

“I love the fact that they’re building in new LGBTQ+ness into the media, as we know it”

Transcript Being gay, I was my identity not me. My identity was one of first to be represented (apart from being gay and lesbian, they’re kind of the most known out of the LGBTQ+ spectrum and I don’t feel that’s right). I love the fact that they’re building in new LGBTQ+ness into the media, as […]

“Everyone questioning an identity or an orientation wants to find out more”

Transcript What advice would you give to a young person questioning their sexual orientation or their gender identity? This is quite hard actually. When it comes to questioning identity and orientation, one must consider a lot of things. First if they talk about it, are they out yet? If they’re not out, who can they […]

“Sex ed. is just straight and for us that's living hell”

Transcript We’ve progressed so much. And then we have the schooling system, we have the education system that does not represent us in any means. Not in any means might be a bit harsh. Sex ed. is just straight and for us that’s living hell. When it comes to being noticed, when it comes to […]

“I don’t associate with any gender”

Transcript How do you identify? Sexual orientation and gender identity and any other identity that might be important to you. I’m agender and pansexual. I played around with the idea of being gender fluid for a while. After experimenting with the way I dressed and with my body language, I realised that anything that made […]

“I expect it to be respected the same as anyone else’s gender identity, no more, no less”

Transcript I expect it to be respected the same as anyone else’s gender identity, no more, no less. It’s a part of who I am, because it’s a part of the way I’ve been treated my whole life, so I can’t pretend it doesn’t affect who I am. But at the same time, it’s not […]

“I started out thinking I was cis and straight, like most people”

Transcription I started out thinking I was cis and straight, like most people. (The default setting as it seems to be). Then I found out I fancied women and everyone else was like ‘Duh you fancy women!’ So I didn’t really have to come out. I think that’s one of the perks of living in […]

“I've chosen the clothes for a reason”

Transcription Do you feel the way you dress accurately represents your identity and is this relevant or important to you? Yes, it accurately represents my identity, because I’ve chosen the clothes for a reason – they’re comfortable and they look the way that I want to look. But at the same time, the general public […]

“I talk to my mum a bit. My family I think are aware, but we don’t really talk about it much”

Transcription I’m fairly open about my identity. I bring up my pronouns when it’s relevant. Like if someone starts calling me she all over the place, I’ll be ‘Actually it’s they’, usually. (Unless it’s a job thing, because money is slightly more important than people respecting my pronouns, with my need to exist and all.) […]

“I went to a Pride in Portsmouth, which was drastically different”

Transcript Yes, I’ve been to Pride a couple of times. I think this year will be my third or fourth Pride in Brighton and then I went to a Pride in Portsmouth, which was drastically different. I found it stressful, because there are a lot of people and I have social anxieties and crowds are […]

“Most of my friends are LGBTQ+. I think I have one straight cis friend!”

Transcription Most of my friends are LGBTQ+. I think I have one straight cis friend! I’m trying to think….. Two straight cis friends! And they’re lovely!

“I’m not as well versed in it as I feel I should be as an LGBTQ+ person”

Transcription I’m not as well versed in it as I feel I should be as an LGBTQ+ person, but I know the gist of how Pride began and the whole Miners for….. Gays and Lesbians. Gays and Lesbians for The Miners. That’s the one, the other way round! I know the gist of a bunch […]

“We need to be as loud as the people who don’t have to fight for their voice”

Transcription There aren’t many other options at the moment, if we’re not political about it, it gets ignored. We need to be as loud as the people who don’t have to fight for their voice and that’s going to take some shouting!

“Consider why you feel the way you feel”

Transcription What advice would you give to a young person questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity? I’d advise them Google it, a lot. Find different sources, don’t rely on one and think about why you feel this way. What identifies part of my journey, with the whole identifying as agender, was all the ways […]

“Sex ed. needs to be taught for everything”

Transcription Damaging role? So far, I can’t speak a lot about schools because I never went to one. But I’ve heard an awful lot about it from all of my friends who went to school. It doesn’t sound like they’re taught about any genders other than male or female. It doesn’t sound like they’re taught […]

“I’ve always known that I like boys and girls and everyone in the middle and everybody outside of it”

Transcription How did you come to decide on your chosen identity? I think with my sexuality, I’ve always known that I like boys and girls and everyone in the middle and everybody outside of it. I think it was only really finding a word for that, because what I started feeling these things, I don’t […]

“I don’t think it’s the only thing that defines me. I think I’m more than my gender and sexuality”

Transcription How important do you feel your gender and your sexuality is to you? I think it’s really important, but also dependent on the situation. I don’t wake up everyday and go, ‘Ooh well I’m gay!’ If it’s something particularly relating to LGBTQ+ issues, obviously, I’m then more expressive of my identity, because I feel […]

“I think the problem with trying to describe my gender is everything falls into society-defined categories”

Transcription I think, sexuality wise, I’ve always known. I think it was more I got quite quiet about it when I started realising that not everybody feels like that and especially because I’m not originally from Brighton it was viewed by some people as a bad thing. So it was there, but I don’t think […]

“I’m a lot more open with my friends in Brighton”

Transcription I only came out to my family sexuality wise in October, so I talked about it then. Only I didn’t, I wrote it down and they read it and it’s come up a few times since, but nothing major. I think they need time to get used to it With my friends, it has […]

“We have come a long way, but the fight isn’t over”

Transcription I went to my first Pride last year. I also went to Trans Pride last year. I think I personally preferred Trans Pride for the atmosphere and it was definitely a march rather than a parade. Because there’s still a lot of issues with trans rights and it’s marching to make people aware of […]

“I'm sure there are some that haven’t come out yet”

Transcript Especially living in Brighton, I think as a community we flock here. Even back home, I did I’m sure there are some that haven’t come out yet,. So yes, most people do, whether they realise it or not

“I think the ideas about what community is have changed”

Transcript I think I feel about as part of it, a LGBTQ+ community, as I do any other community. I think the ideas about what community is have changed. Your local community? I don’t know who my neighbours are. I don’t think we spend enough time being a community anymore, to define what a community […]

“I write a lot of essays from the perspective of queer theory”

Transcript Do you have any knowledge of LGBTQ+ history? Yes! I think being part of the Into the Outside project, it’s been something that we have focused on quite a lot. That is where most of my LGBTQ+ history knowledge has come from. I did have a bit before, but it was mostly more about […]

“Some of the things have changed over here, thankfully, but they haven’t everywhere else and I think that needs to be acknowledged”

Transcript Do you know anything about how other people in the world live as LGBTQ+ people? I do, but unfortunately it’s only the bad side of things. It is heartbreaking to learn about them. I would love to get more involved, but I don’t entirely know how to get involved to help these people and […]

“If you're given a voice, use it. If you're not using it, they're going to take it away from you”

Transcript Do you think people should be political about their rights as LGBTQ+ people? Yes. Please! If you’re given a voice, use it. If you’re not using it, they’re going to take it away from you and we’ve come too far for that to happen. People have given too much at this point, for us […]

“We're more than people who just come out”

Transcript In the mainstream media, to be honest, it’s usually either a coming out story, which is great, but we’re more than people who just come out. We have a whole other life other than that. Or especially with the bisexual thing, it’s usually fetishised. Usually it’s a good looking woman who is attracted to […]

“Whatever you're feeling is normal. I don’t think it’s made known enough that it’s OK to question things”

Transcript What advice would you give to a young person questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity? Whatever you’re feeling is normal. I don’t think it’s made known enough that it’s OK to question things. You could question things and stay how you are. You can question things and change. All of that is valid, […]

“I think we need to make changes in the language that we use”

Transcript What role do you feel the education system plays in all this, if any? I think the way to discuss this, would be looking forward because I can’t change anything about the experiences I’ve already had in education, which was very, ‘everyone is straight, everyone is cis, there is nothing else that exists outside […]

“However you identify is valid”

Transcription I think I’d just like to go back to the, however you identify is valid. I don’t think that people can hear that enough. I don’t think that people can say that to each other enough. However you’re identifying isn’t hurting anybody else, so feel free to change it as much as you want […]

Queer in Brighton

Queer in Brighton is a heritage learning project celebrating and promoting the rich cultural life of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Brighton & Hove. The Queer in Brighton team have kindly shared some of the stories from their younger contributors here. For more visit queerinbrighton.co.uk

Tiff Ansari

[22 years old] “I work at Revenge. It’s absolutely great! Everyone behind the bar are really good friends. You get a bit of gossip like you get anywhere but, for instance, when Gangnam Style came out, everyone started dancing every time the song came on, in unison! Like, synchronised! And it’s great if you like […]

Greg Cox

I am 17 and studying the sciences and mathematics at Haywards Heath College. I don’t live in Brighton but I volunteer and socialise in the city (not to mention going to the recent January sales!). I live by myself (yes, I know I’m young but my housekeeping skills are renowned. Stains on cream carpets stand […]

Elle

Hey, I’ve just turned 18 and I’ve only just started coming out to people; I’ve yet to come out to my family. I live in Shoreham-by-Sea, outside of Brighton. I’ve now been coming to Allsorts for just under a year. What annoys me is that many people believe you have to fit into a certain […]

Lucy Foster

[24 years old] “I think the worst thing is being scared to tell people. I think it’s the thing of changing peoples’ expectations. That’s what I don’t like. ’Cause when I told my dad I was like, ‘But I’m the same person.’ And he said, ‘But you’re not.’ And I was like, ‘But I am!’ […]

Charlie Wood

[17 years old] “Well, I’ve been raised in a family that’s not even conventional by gay family standards. I live with my mum and a woman called Sandra who is not partners with my mum, although both of them are lesbian women. I’ve always lived with Sandra and she’s never been partners with my mum […]

Sabah Choudrey

[23 years old] “Even though people say Brighton’s quite diverse, it’s not really. Sure, here you have your Asian communities, your South East Asian community and Polish and all that, but they’re all hidden. But what if a person from one community identifies with another community – like the gay community or the trans* community? […]

Dean Atta

Writer and performance poet Dean Atta worked with young people and teachers during the project, and has generously contributed some of his writing for presentation on this website to accompany the resources he has written for teachers. For more information about Dean see his website here.

How to Love Yourself

How to Love Yourself by Dean Atta   Write your own list and only take from this the things that work for you. Yoga. Running. Walking. Meditation. A good night’s sleep. Drinking plenty of water. Comfort food. Quality time. Turning off your phone. Cinema trips alone. Forgiveness.   Do not make a list of your […]

Freedom of Love

Freedom of Love by Dean Atta My mother who swallowed her tongue My mother who gave me life My mother who spoils me My mother who let me stay rent-free My mother who texts me on her lunch break To see if I’ll be home for dinner My mother is a giver My mother has […]

Young, Black and Gay

Young, Black and Gay by Dean Atta   My people are many and few Subdivisions of me and you Substantial people sometimes called subhuman Negroes, faggots and all the youts dem Don’t think your rights came overnight So many people had to fight To gain anything like equality We ain’t there yet but we’re gonna […]

I Come From

I Come From by Dean Atta   I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast, jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves. I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live.   I come from a home that some would call broken. I come from D.I.Y. that never got done. I come […]

Inside My Archive

Inside My Archive, March-December 2017 by Dean Atta   December 2017, Gay Times magazine, Boy George on the cover, four of my Black Flamingo poems inside on a double page spread. June 2017, The Black Flamingo zine of poetry and art, made for Tate Britain, April 2017, Boyz magazine, photos of my drag graduation inside. […]

Getting Involved

If you are aged 13-25 and would like to add your voice to the queer youth archive contact us: juliette@photoworks.org.uk