Brighton Corn Exchange dig finds 200-year-old burial site
A 200-year-old burial site has been discovered during redevelopment work at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange.
One skeleton was found earlier this week, but now nine graves have been uncovered.
The remains are in the process of being exhumed from underneath the area previously used as the venue’s mini conference room.
They are thought to be from a Quaker burial ground that existed before the Royal Pavilion Estate was built.
Alan Robins, chair of Brighton and Hove City Council’s tourism, development and culture committee said: “The remains are now being carefully exhumed and will be examined to determine more about the deceased before being re-buried or cremated.” Read more.
Sergio Agüero of Manchester City celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester City at the Amex Stadium on August 12, 2017 in Brighton, England
Being a girl who likes trucks or a boy who wears nail polish doesn’t make you gender fluid, it just makes you human
Over dinner a younger friend said he thought I was “gender fluid”. I
was taken aback. He was, I suspect, half-joking. But his inference was
clear. I’m quite a “strapping” build, I rarely wear heels, I’m stroppy,
opinionated, I hate shopping and like muddy boot camps. So, by modern
definitions, I can’t be wholly female, rather somewhere along a spectrum
between male and female.
I’d never thought about my gender
identity before. It hadn’t occurred to me that not being a “girly” girl
meant I wasn’t 100 per cent woman. The point, I’ve always believed, is
to expand the categories “man” and “woman”, to tear down pink and blue
prisons. So a little girl can like trucks, spacemen, getting dirty and
still be a girl; a boy can put on nail polish, play with dolls and be no
less a boy.
But it is not so simple now. I was speaking to a
student I’ve known since she was 11: quirky, funny, inventive, always
making mayhem with my son. Later she found the flicky-haired, make-up
mad teen-girl scene cloying and repressive. She read Caitlin Moran’s
book, found feminism and herself. “But if I was 13 now,” she says, “I’d
be reading online trans forums and thinking that maybe I wasn’t really a
This is where we are now. On Radio 4’s Today programme
yesterday we heard from 16-year-old Colin, who transitioned into a male
two years ago. A tomboy who wore boys’ clothes when a little girl, at 14
he “identified with people I saw on the internet” and now straps down
his breasts with painful binders. We heard a nine-year-old trans girl
called Poppy who as an “effeminate” boy was bullied “so I changed to a
girl and they liked me more”.
As the head of the Tavistock clinic
reported, her patients were once a very few, distressed young people,
suffering from gender dysphoria, a psychological condition in which they
had an overwhelming belief that they were born in the wrong body. Now a
new, larger wave of patients, like Colin and Poppy, were emerging whose
desire to transition may be stimulated by external ideas. Some are
heading towards surgery and/or heavy, lifelong hormones that render them
A letter from Brighton and Hove city council recently
asked parents to help their reception class four-year-olds choose the
gender “they most identify with”. How stressful for parents. What if my
son is too keen on the dressing-up box? If my little girl says “I hate
pink, I must be a boy”, do you reply “pink sucks, wear what you like”
or, as trans campaigners advise, honour your child’s “true” gender?
I knew a four-year-old who swore he was a dog, yet children that age
are now encouraged to change their names and gender pronouns. The
plasticity of infant identity, the ever-evolving personalities of the
very young, are seen as set; even though 80 per cent of children who
identify as opposite gender grow out of it, the majority turning out to
be lesbian or gay.
The trans cause is hailed as the latest
liberation struggle. And we should defend trans men and women from
discrimination and the hideous violence many have endured. But this
should not stop us opposing a view of gender, spun off from the trans
movement, that is as conservative as the Mad Men 1950s. Until recently
Eddie Izzard was a transvestite, wearing skirts and make-up: “These
aren’t women’s clothes,” he’d say, “they’re my clothes”. Like Bowie,
Prince and Grayson Perry, he made the category of man bigger, brighter,
less confined. Now Izzard says he has “boy genetics and girl genetics”.
Filmed rushing into a manicurist, he gushed: “Being a transgender guy, I
do like my nails.”
Men, I’ve found, can’t understand why this
enrages women. Why are feminist ladies so mean to Eddie? Well, because
he’s no longer saying “I’m a bloke who likes pretty nails”. He has
declared: “Because I like pretty nails I am female.” He is reducing
being a woman down to make-up and sparkly shoes. By which definition,
he’s more woman than “gender fluid” ol’ me.
In America a debate
is raging about access to bathrooms by transgender students. In North
Carolina and Mississippi, state legislatures have passed laws saying
that students must only use toilets of their born gender, causing fears
that trans girls in particular will be humiliated and attacked in boys’
lavatories. Barack Obama this week threatened to withdraw federal
funding from these states unless they desist.
Such ugly, hateful
laws have grown from bigotry and disgust. But also from the
ever-expanding mission of the trans movement itself, which demands that
anyone who identifies as female - even born men who’ve never had surgery
or hormones and who still have beards - be allowed into women’s
changing rooms. I don’t care if a transitioned woman changes beside me.
No doubt plenty have and I never noticed. But the idea that any man who
just “feels” female can barge in unchallenged has caused understandable
unease. Instead of addressing fears, activists scream transphobia, and
from the ensuing polarised debate come bathroom laws.
challenge now is how to support genuine, heartfelt young trans people,
while addressing an internet culture that lures teenagers, amid the
maelstrom of adolescence, towards ever greater confusion. At heart the
trans lobby upholds the same nonsense that underpins porn and men’s mags
and the Tea Party right: that men are muscly hunks and women are
passive pink fem-bots. To feel you are neither doesn’t make you gender
fluid - or any of the other 72 crazy gender categories on Facebook - it
just makes you human.