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Cambridge councillor talks of being UK’s “most influential” trans person

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  1. HelenWilson 1 Nov 2011, 4:58pm

    Christine Burns and Proff Stephen Whittle are still by far the most influential trans people in the UK.

    I don’t know these young guns ;)

    1. Sarah Brown 1 Nov 2011, 5:31pm

      I’m 38, so will take being called a “young gun” with gratitude and good grace! :-)

      1. jussie hay 1 Nov 2011, 6:00pm

        Wow I didn’t realise you were 38, thought you were much younger. Anyway your an inspiration to me and many others.

      2. You look a lot younger than 38. Ten years at least. Whatever your secret is you should bottle it.

        1. Sarah Brown 1 Nov 2011, 6:23pm

          Thanks! Estradiol valerate, 4mg per day, possibly!

      3. HelenWilson 1 Nov 2011, 8:10pm

        I’m younger than you :P

        That photo makes you look very young :)

  2. Christine Burns 1 Nov 2011, 6:02pm

    I can think of no better monument than for people like Stephen and myself (and those whose shoulders WE stood on) to be succeeded by a growing, confident, generation of new faces taking forward the advances we helped to create. That is, after all, what we campaigned for.

    The progress is that in our day there were ones or twos …

    For instance, there was the remarkable Mark Rees, who was the first trans person to take the UK to the European Court of Human Rights in the mid 1980’s, who helped to found Press for Change in 1992, and who was (as far as I know) the very first trans councillor anywhere in the UK in his home town of Tonbridge.

    People like Mark, and Adele Anderson and Fay Presto are my heroes and heroines .. not to mention Jan Morris.

    Now I can count trans figures in tens. There are 11 named in the Pink List alone.

    The mission for those people, if they care to accept it, is to ensure they are succeeded by hundreds, or thousands

    1. Sarah Brown 1 Nov 2011, 6:23pm

      “The mission for those people, if they care to accept it, is to ensure they are succeeded by hundreds, or thousands”

      I very much hope this is the case.

    2. HelenWilson 1 Nov 2011, 7:46pm

      We need to ask the question, how many of those thousands are currently struggling to find basic support? How many are are contemplating suicide because they feel isolated in a largely hostile community? We are still losing far too many people of potential from lack of basic support in our community. I think the real mission currently is to establish sufficient support structures for all trans people across the country, so those thousands are equipped to step up and take over. Lack of recognition (and funding) for those who do this essential work means support is appears to currently in decline.

      If we give trans people the right start they will fly and outstrip the achievements of those who have gone before.

  3. Robyn Griffiths 1 Nov 2011, 6:03pm

    Good on you Sarah. I am at the beginning of the transistion process but I am already getting discrimination. I am getting less work than before I started to transistion. In the past few weeks I have had two days work cancelled the only person on the Safety Team to have suffered two cancelled days. i can’t prove anything. people like Sarah give me hope that I can rie above this and try and get a new job. I have started an OU course and a computer course

  4. Sarahs an amazing person. I jnow her but never had the honour of meeting her in real life. Im glad shes finally getting noticed.

    1. Sarah Brown 1 Nov 2011, 6:27pm

      Aww, thanks. We’ve been in the same room, just never got to say “hello”. I’m sure we will sometime though.

  5. Cambridge sounds the place to be! At least somewhat progressive!

    1. Anna Metcalfe 2 Nov 2011, 7:22am

      It certainly is. Bournemouth (my current hometown) is pretty easygoing for transpeople too these days…I’ve never had any problems there whatsoever.

      It’s so good to see transpeople becoming role models. Ultimately, the more of us are out there just getting on with life in various fields the more acceptance will become the norm rather than an aspiration. I’ve tried to do my little bit in the software industry, and I get the impression that those I meet in my field respect that. That’s pretty cool really.

      Now, how many trans-MPs or Peers are there? Thought so…

      There is still a long, long way to go, but every little step helps.

  6. postopgirl 2 Nov 2011, 10:54am

    Sarah, you certainly have trod a path very few of us could even dream of doing, especially those of us who are a constant target of knuckle draggers of the chav types, and for that you deserve recognition,.

    Transition is often talked about as if its an easy thing to do, but those of us who have experienced the worst types of hate crime know that it isn’t as simple as that, its a tough road to travel, sure if you live in a middle class area you won’t get it, but on a chavy estate, believe me it isn’t easy. I find it hard that anyone would question your gender, as you look 100% female.

    I know many who have transitioned who deserve recognition, but this would not be the place to name them, good luck with the next local elections.

  7. steviesun 2 Nov 2011, 7:35pm

    I raise my cup of tea to you Sarah. To you and all those who have made this path just that little bit easier for the rest of us. Yes people like Christine and Stephen Whittle are legends, but there are many others who are quietly making a big difference now too.

    I am having a fairly easy transition and I’m only too aware it’s all because of those who took this path before me and have taken the time to help others. I’m really glad that some of them are getting recognised and celebrated.

  8. Robert J Brown 3 Nov 2011, 7:06pm

    Well done again Sarah!

    Everyone can read my special Trans issue of Rainbow Citizen by going to:

    and clicking on Rainbow Citizen . . .

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