Happy Pride Month my loves! No matter how you identify or who you love, June is the month to celebrate all things LGBTQIA+, and Brighton is a wonderful place to do it! With its vibrant collection of LGBTQIA+ friendly bars, clubs and venues, as well as one of the biggest Pride events in the country held in August, Brighton is a wonderful place to discover who you are and celebrate that!
June is recognised as Pride month due to the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, which were a key turning point for the LGBTQ+ community and where it stands today. A year after these events saw the first organised march – back then named Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day – which was attended by nearly 15,000 people, which since has blossomed into the Pride marches and events we recognise today.
Brighton saw its first Pride March in 1973, organised by the Sussex Gay Liberation Front following a demonstration they arranged the year before. The march was small, but it made an impact. Pride didn’t come back until 1991, returning to object the government passing laws to ban the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality. It again started small, with events around town and ending in a Pink Picnic in Preston Park. From here it grew, gaining Charitable status in 2004, meaning the festival could start making donations to other charitable organisations in the area. As the scale of the event grew, so did the fundraising, ever-growing into the Brighton Pride event we recognise today.
Brighton Pride has now raised over £920,000 for community causes, through sponsors, fundraisers, and the events themselves – the Pride Festival in Preston Park, and the Pride Village Party found on St James Street and its surrounding areas. Through celebrating who we are and where we come from, Pride can support countless local charities, support-groups and resources that support the LGBTQ+ community, and this work can only continue to grow in the future.
Due to the craziness of this past year and a half (I’m not going to say the dreaded name), Brighton has had to cancel its official Pride Event this year, meaning we will have to wait another year to dance and sing as we watch the parade travel through the city to Preston Park. But of course, this doesn’t mean we won’t still celebrate Pride in our own ways – and there are still plenty of LGBTQ+ friendly venues for you to visit in the meantime:
Probably one of Brighton’s most popular Gay destinations, Revenge is ready to welcome you to one of three of its venues – Club Revenge, Bar Revenge or their new Rooftop Bar! So you can either grab a cocktail on the roof and be served by one of Revenge’s wonderful Drag Hosts, pop across the road for an evening at Bar Revenge, or wait for sunset to arrive and dance the night away at Club Revenge – or do all three if you really fancy.
Charles Street Tap
The Queen’s of Craft, Charles Street Tap can be found on Marine Parade, and is your go-to for a proper pint or a bite to eat – oh and also cabaret if you fancy! Other events feature gaming nights, drag quizzes and DJ nights, so you can head over for a delicious meal then stay for the entertainment.
Affinity /əˈfɪnɪti/ noun – a natural liking for and understanding of someone or something. EXx. “he had a special affinity for men, she had a special affinity for women“. A fitting name for another of Brighton’s wonderful gay bars. It offers cocktails, cabaret and karaoke – what more do you need for a good night out? Make sure to pay them a visit down on St James’s St.
These are just a few of the many wonderful LGBTQ+ venues you can find in Brighton, so make sure to head down and show your support this summer, by buying a drink and having a good time!
Whether you’re discovering how you identify on this crazy planet, or you’re learning how to be a better ally to your LGBTQIA+ friends, the ICTheatre family encourages acceptance and inclusivity within its walls. Brighton is a wonderful city to do this in – and the same can be said for Manchester, where our other campus resides. ICTheatre has student support mentors on hand if you ever need someone to talk to, and a friendly ear is never far away.
If you fancy doing some more research in the spirit of Pride Month, I’ve gathered some resources as a place for you to start:
For all Brighton Pride related information, you can head to their website here – hopefully they’ll bring us the news that Pride 2022 can go ahead soon!
Into The Outside
Into the Outside is a queer youth project, that is compiling an archive of stories from LGBTQ+ Youth around Hove and Brighton. More information about what they do and the stories they share can be found here.
If you’re looking for support, community or information, Brighton Based charity Switchboard is available to offer you those resources. Go here for more information, or phone their helpline on 01273 359042.
fancy a chance of getting to know our city better, while also learning about some of its LGBTQ+ history? Well then, Piers for Queers has got your back! A 90-minute guided walk around the city, where you’ll get to learn all sorts of facts about Brighton and its history from a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer perspective. For more information and to book tickets, click here!
For all news LGBTQ+ related in and around Brighton, Gscene magazine is the one to read. Covering everything from worldwide news to Arts, travel and food & drink, it’s a hub of information at your fingertips! Read more here.
Whatever way you may choose to celebrate this month, I wish you all a very happy Pride. Out and proud, still figuring things out or celebrating your LGBTQIA+ friends, Pride is a month for love and support. All of us here at ICTheatre wish you all the best, and we look forward to continuing to celebrate everyone on this planet, whoever they are.
Author: Charley Morgan, ICTheatre Graduate 2020