Marny had just completed training as a counsellor when she had a car accident which meant she had to move in with her family for care as she was house bound.
Her family were very religious and rigidly conservative in their views. As a gay woman, Marny did not feel accepted or safe living with her family, saying “I’ve always had a very difficult relationship with my family”. After her accident she said her father authorised the implanting of an electrode into her ear which would be used for conversion therapy.
Eventually Marny had enough and decided she had to leave. She drove to Brighton where she lived in her car for a month. During this time she made contact with Firstbase who referred her to the Mental Health Homeless Team.
After a month in her car, she became severely suicidal and was admitted to hospital for a month. After leaving hospital, she was placed in emergency accommodation on Percival Terrace for 8 months.
While living there, a Justlife worker came to visit Percival Terrace to talk about the work they do and she was encouraged to go along to the coffee morning. From there, she was told about the new creative studio that Justlife were setting up. When Marny first started attending studio sessions she was “very shaky and nervous”. Until this point, Marny had only drawn black and white pictures but as she grew in confidence at the studio she introduced the rainbow colours of the LGBTQ flag. Her work now reflects her personal journey into the LGBTQ community with elements of black or grey representing the oppression she experienced and the rainbow colours showing her breaking free to become the person she feels she is meant to be.