They say a picture is worth a thousand words; we say an object speaks a thousand more. This is exactly what the public of Brighton learnt when The Museum of Transology opened its doors recently at the iconic Brighton Pavilion Museum, featuring key objects and artefacts from previously unearthed trans history.

“Maeve – Not long after I started my transition, my cousin asked me to be a bridesmaid. I wore these shoes and a dress which my mum made. I was absolutely shitting myself in church but it was a beautiful day <3”

Collected and curated by E-J Scott, the new exhibition showcases seemingly “everyday” objects, revealing remarkable stories behind them, from the brave and diverse trans individuals who’ve donated their personal possessions to go on display. Challenging society-fixed gender labels, binary and the ideology that gender is biologically determined, the exhibition includes personal belongings such as a trans man’s first pair of gender-bending childhood ballet shoes and a woman’s first ever transition-land marking item of makeup – all with unpredicted stories told through the objects.

“This was the ticket I used to meet my Canadian girlfriend, the first time seeing her in person as her boyfriend instead of her girlfriend. An amazing moment!”

Having proved a blowout success during its showing in London earlier this year, the gallery contains photography from Bharat Sikka and Sharon Kilgannon, plus further works from other key artists and creatives. This is the biggest display of trans artefacts and photographic portraiture ever displayed in the UK – if not, the world!

“My first pair of ballet shoes… I’ve been doing ballet since I was 4 years old. When I came out I was worried that people wouldn’t see me as male because of my love of ballet and pointe, but because I love it so much I refused to quit. Since coming out I’ve been more confident in my dancing, and while they were worn long before my transition, they hold a lot of meaning for me as ballet has made me the man I am.”

“I became far more ambitious with age! (But wore this [for] 10 years)”

Open until summer 2018, the exhibition takes place during exceptionally pertinent times for the trans community, with anti-progressive obstacles threatening trans individuals recently, such as Trump disgracefully banning trans soldiers from the US military. Alongside key events this year such as Trans Pride – having celebrated its 5th successful this year – The Museum of Transology exhibition provides a positive voice for the often-unheard trans individuals within the UK.

“This was the first piece of makeup I bought. It all comes back to this. I learnt about it from YouTube and still use it today. I finally built up the confidence to go into a shop and buy makeup without feeling judged. Now that I’ve started I’ve not looked back once – SPx”
“The lipstick was from my wonderful sister who was the first family member to accept and support my transition. <3”

Here are some of the touching first-hand trans stories and experiences to expect at the new exhibition…

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All pictures c/o Museum of Transology

by George Palmer  @george_palms 

 

For more information on the exhibition visit – http://brightonmuseums.org.uk/brighton/

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