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

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Cambridge City Councillor Sarah Brown has spoken about her experiences as the country’s only out transgender official.

In an interview with Cambridge First she said: “I have experienced three types of discrimination – transphobia, homophobia and misogyny”.

“Since the transition to live as female I’m suddenly a second-class citizen. Suddenly my personal space was invaded and I started getting men touching me and being groped on the Tube.

“All this stuff I had not experienced before. I have also had complete strangers coming up asking me questions about my genitals which is completely rude.”

Ms Brown, who ranked 28th on the Independent on Sunday’s Pink List, making her the UK’s most influential trans person, entered into a civil partnership in 2009.

But she had to file for divorce from her then wife, Sylvia Knight, before they could become civil partners after her transition.

“When we were in court in Cambridge getting divorced we had to sort of convince ourselves what we were doing. However we came out holding hands and crying.

“We developed an understanding together and were interested in each other as people.”

In 2010, Ms Brown convinced Cambridge City Council to exceed the requirements of the Equality Act by refusing to discriminate against trans people applying for gender appropriate positions with the council or using single sex facilities provided by the council.

Cambridge can also boast having elected the UK’s first trans mayor, and three trans officials.

Ms Brown said: “I’m enjoying being a councillor and love this city and want to do the right thing by it.”

Read the full interview here.