New restrictions at Brighton trans pride worry community
New restrictions on a Trans Pride event in Brighton have caused concern among the community.
Trans Pride Brighton on Thursday (4 July) announced bag searches and a ban on liquids at the 20 July event.
In a Facebook post, Trans Pride Brighton said the new restrictions were to comply with a different type of alcohol license.
Trustee Sarah Savage told Gay Star News it was also part of a city-wide crackdown on health and safety.
‘The costs have been astronomical [this year] and we are fighting to keep it a free event and sometimes we have to put in restrictions like this’ she said.
Police may also attend to check organizers are complying with the new restrictions. But, organizers said there would not be an increase in police presence. Police had not been invited, they said.
The pride’s security team will conduct bag searches on anyone entering the park. Liquids, except for medical purposes, will not be allowed but free water will be provided.
Savage said security, who are trained and trusted in gender and disability intersectionalities, would not take water from attendees as ’this could lead to discrimination against people with invisible disabilities’.
New restrictions also impose a limit of 3,000 people inside the park. An estimated 7,000 people attended last year.
Concerns in Brighton
Commenter Kimberley Helen Whittaker is considering canceling a hotel booking and giving the event a miss.
‘Don’t really see the point in going if the authorities are gonna be that restrictive’ Whittaker wrote under the post.
Another poster, Sophie Dee, said contact with police ‘was a deal breaker’.
Cee said it looked like trans pride was becoming the same ‘conservative mess most pride events have ended up as’.
‘So yet another space is made inaccessible for disabled & sober folks’ Robin James wrote.
Savage told Gay Star News said organizers understand ‘trans people are the most marginalized among the LGBT spectrum’.
She said the event has no corporate sponsor.
‘All of our money is raised through community resources, we do not take money from companies who want their name on the park’.
In comments below the post, organizers said the rationale given by Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove City Council was ’to prevent acid attacks on the community’.
But, Savage told Gay Star News, authorities had not discussed this with trustees. Savage said organizers have robust procedures in place but there was no specific threat to the event.
‘I think we got our messaging slightly wrong’ Savage said of the original Facebook post.
A record-breaking 7,000 people attended the Trans Pride Brighton event last year. The event began in 2013 with about 800 people.
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Author: Rik Glauert