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Sunday 17th December 2024

Brighton is well known as the queer capital and a party town.  Most of us also know that statistics for the LGBTQ community on drug and alcohol problems are much higher than our heterosexual counterparts.  As someone who rarely drinks, it was lovely to be invited to the TransSober Christmas Lunch.  

TransSober was set up by Vernon Collins to provide peer support around drug and alcohol use to the TNBI (trans, non-binary and intersex) community around Brighton. They run a range of drop-in groups, one-to-one outreach support, sober socials and acupuncture. They also run online support groups, so people unable to attend in Brighton or who live abroad often attend.

Who needs alcohol to have an amazing Christmas lunch? Not us!

Inclusivity is a big thing in our community, and I’m one of those old fashioned people that doesn’t care which letter of the alphabet you identify with but I still wanted to check that it was ok for me to attend, being that I don’t identify as trans or 100% sober.  Host Vernon explained that some TransSober events are only for people who identify as Trans, non-binary or intersex but this event was open to allow a few supportive allies, like myself. Of course, as a cis woman I was in the minority at the TransSober Christmas lunch but isn’t it a good thing that we can have events where trans sober people are the majority and not the minority.

My platonic holiday wife (as I affectionately call her) beat me to the dinner table, so I had no choice but to sit at the other end of the table.  I quickly realised what a welcoming, varied group had come for Christmas dinner. 

They had meat, vegan, dairy free and poultry options at the Trans Sober Christmas lunch

The food was as diverse as the people.  Head Chef and TransSober volunteer, Vernon called out the dinner options and then let us help ourselves.  Yes, there was the traditional Christmas turkey, vegan nut roast, gluten or gluten free options, dairy or dairy free options, alcohol free Christmas pudding and even gluten and dairy free custard!

In total the fantastic team of volunteers cooked Christmas dinner for 26 of us.  Vernon had thought of everything and had a lovely selection of drinks – Asda’s finest OJ, sparkling water and several shades of Shloer.  When you bought a ticket, you could opt for just eating or options including cooking, eating and / or donating, so we all felt we could contribute but the donation and or eating options kept it affordable and accessible for those of us struggling at this time of year.  

For more information about TransSober, please check them out on Instagram or CLICK HERE

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Maz Gordon

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