LGBT community of Brighton and Hove

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
People enjoying the annual Brighton Pride carnival event, in 2007

The British city of Brighton and Hove is well known for having a very substantial LGBT community, effectively making it the UK's 'gay capital'. The 2001 census revealed that Brighton and Hove had the highest proportion of same-sex households in the country at 1.29%: some 2,544 persons said that they lived with a person of the same sex.[1] The 2011 census did not measure same-sex households specifically but showed that Brighton and Hove had the highest number of civil partnerships in the country, at 2,346 individuals or 3.1% of all legal relationships within the unitary authority area.[2]


Brighton Pride is an event, and wider organization, which promotes equality and diversity, and advances education to eliminate discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. The major event is an annual summer festival held in the first week of August.[3] The 2005 summer event attracted 120,000 visitors.[4]


The Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard is a telephone helpline that describes itself as 'providing a service to the lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans communities since April 1975' and is one of the oldest in the UK.

The Clare Project is a local support group which provides a safe and confidential meeting place for anyone exploring issues around their gender identity, besides organising other events such as monthly meals.

MindOut is a mental health service run by and for LGBT people, based in Brighton and Hove.

The city also has the Allsorts Youth Project which aims to meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and unsure youth in Brighton & Hove and the wider East Sussex area.

Both Brighton and Sussex universities have active LGBT organizations and they often work together to cater to the needs of LGBT students. Sussex LGBTQ is for students at the University of Sussex and LGBrighTon is for students at Brighton University.

The Brighton Ourstory Project was set up to collect and preserve lesbian and gay community history in the area.[5]

In 2000 the large scale LGBT community survey, Count Me In, led to the development of an LGBT Community Strategy 2001-06 for Brighton & Hove. Spectrum developed from this process to work with local services and planners in implementing the strategy, and to provide infrastructure and community development support for the LGBT community. Its aim was to act as an independent voice, negotiating the rights of LGBT people locally with specific focus on the needs of marginalised sections of the LGBT community. A second study, Count Me In Too!, published its 'Initial findings Reports' in 2007, in partnership between the University of Brighton and Spectrum. The second study aimed to identify gaps in the original research and update the strategy.

A free magazine is distributed in the city: Gscene, which describes itself as "the gay and lesbian lifestyle, listings and community magazine for Brighton and Hove".

Brighton has a gay and lesbian sports society called BLAGSS which offers a range of 17 sports or activities to its 600+ members, and a branch of the Metropolitan Community Church.

Historical stories[edit]

An early recording of the LGBT community in Brighton was in August 1822, when George Wilson, a servant from Newcastle upon Tyne, was accused by a guardsman he had met in the Duke of Wellington public house in Pool Valley of having offered him a sovereign and two shillings to go with him onto the beach to "commit an unnatural crime".[6]

Another early story of the LGBT community in the area is that of philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906), a friend of both Charles Dickens and the Duke of Wellington, who spent part of each year at the Royal Albion Hotel with her companion Hannah. The couple were devoted to each other, socially recognised as a pair, and even sent joint Christmas cards. When Hannah died in 1878, Baroness Burdett-Coutts said she was utterly crushed by the loss of "my poor darling, the companion and sunshine of my life for 52 years".[6]

In 2012, a gay-themed novel set in Brighton, My Policeman, written by author Bethan Roberts, was published by Vintage Books.[7]


  1. ^ "Brighton 'has most gay couples'". BBC News. 2004-02-03. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  2. ^ "ONS 2011 Census Data Release". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  3. ^ "All About Pride". 
  4. ^ "Brighton Pride homepage". 
  5. ^ "Brighton Ourstory homepage". 
  6. ^ a b "Brighton's story". Brighton Ourstory. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  7. ^ Vintage Books: My Policeman

External links[edit]