The Transworkers photographic exhibition curated by photographer Stella Michaels will be displayed in the Phil Starr Pavilion during The B Right On LGBT Community Festival from February 16 – March 3.
The ‘Transworkers’ project, a collection of photographs of “TQI” people at work commenced almost two years ago and includes people who are female to male, male to female, non binary or intersex. (Some may also be L,G, or B too.)
Transgender workers are not a new phenomenon, but much media coverage in the past has focussed primarily on the curiosity of their being transgender. It has seldom been about the individual’s personal value.
This exhibition has a different perspective: it seeks to show people who happen to fall under the broad umbrella term of ‘trans’ as being a vibrant and positive part of the workforce, with a wide range of skills – rather than being social curiosities.
Historically, the intensely negative pressures put upon the trans communities have made it very hard for them to live and especially to find work. Even now, many trans people are rejected or marginalised in the workplace because of who they are. This often results in very low self-esteem for the individual, who may carry this self-image for life; poverty is the outcome, and this serves to feed the image. It’s a vicious circle.
Trans people lose from discrimination – but so does society. We all lose what trans people can offer, and employers lose skilled, talented and capable individuals whose resilience has enabled them to overcome the many difficulties presented to them. They are a very valuable resource.
The subjects in this exhibition are positive role models and show what can be gained by employers who employ trans people.
Stella Michaels, Photographer and Curator, says: “If the people in my photographs can find work, so can others like them. I’d like the photographs to start us all thinking towards that – trans people, employers, and the public at large.”
The B RIGHT ON LGBT+ Community Festival celebrates LGBT History Month, is organised by the volunteers of the Brighton & Hove LGBT Community Safety Forum and takes place at the Phil Starr Pavilion – a multi functional, fully accessible, heated performance, conference and community space with a licensed bar which is located on Victoria Gardens, Brighton, BN1 1WN.