Mural Painting in St James St

14 Aug

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For a while the front of one of the shop spaces on St james St, Brighton has been covered with scaffolding and white boards, looking fairly unsightly. To brighten it up activist Chris Cooke organised for local LGBT artists to decorate each of the seven pillars along the street in their own style, each one taking one of the colours of the rainbow as its theme. The final white board covering the window was offered to Trans Pride.

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So on a warm afternoon, in the midst of the tide of pedestrians, a few of us from FTMB went down there in our painty old clothes. Under the artistic guidance of Phoenix Thomas, and with paints donated from Clarkes, we created a giant Trans Pride flag.

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“Painting today was great fun! It was empowering and it felt good to be contributing towards trans awareness and Trans Pride. It felt like being part of something so much bigger. I am only just beginning to explore my gender and have felt increasingly isolated in the past few weeks as I’m only ‘out’ to two people who aren’t part of FTMB. Being around such enthusiastic people, just having fun and painting was like a breath of fresh air for me. I arrived feeling very nervous, but the people who walked down St James Street as we were painting were generally very positive and encouraging. It was great to hear so many words of support from so many smiling faces (although the pink spray paint is a right pain to get off).”

– FTMB member

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St James St is known for being the LGBT area of Brighton, but in reality it is a gay male dominated area and often unfriendly to bisexual, trans and queer people. By painting a giant trans flag in this area of town it was partly a message to remind people of the T in LGBT.

“We had 99% positive repsonses to the Trans Pride mural from passers-by – it was particularly wonderful to hear st james st residents say “yeah trans pride woo! cool!” whereas I feel 2 years ago people would have been more like “whats trans? whats that symbol?”. And thats down to Trans Pride.”

– FTMB member

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