11 / 02 / 22

Brighton and Hove belongs to one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the United Kingdom. It is generally acknowledged as the unofficial "gay capital" of the UK. Records of LGBTQ+ history date back to the early 19th century.

In celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month, we’re taking a look back across the timeline of the key events that have shaped the LGBTQ+ community in Brighton…


A transgender man married a woman at St Peter’s Church in 1929 but was later jailed for nine months for making false statements on his marriage certificate. At the same time, bars with LGBTQ+ customers were booming, especially the now-closed Brunswick Star.

1950 – 1960

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Brighton was the top destination for gay holidaymakers, with word spreading about guesthouses which were either owned by gay men or would ignore instances of what was then illegal activity.


Over the next few years, the Brighton Lesbian Group was formed, the Brighton Gay Switchboard – then known as the Lavender Line – provided support for LGBT people and hosted the 1979 National Gay Equality Movement Conference.


In the early 70s, LGBTQ+ organisations such as The Sussex Gay Liberation Front (SGLF) launched in February 1971 by a group of university students and LGBT residents.


The Sussex Gay Liberation Front (SGLF) organised the first ever protest and full Pride March, which took place in July 1973.


The introduction of Article 28 in 1988, which banned local councils from “promoting homosexuality”, sparked a new wave of LGBTQ+ activism, and Brighton Regional Action Against Article 28 (BAAAS28) organised an annual May Leiden’s marching town hall protest against legislation.


1991marks the return of Brighton Pride after 18 years. LGBTQ+ nightclubs began to gain success in the town with the opening of the first sizeable gay club, Revenge.

1992 – 1995

Brighton Pride grew into the major attraction it is today, among residents and visitors. 1992 saw the launch of Pride in The Park, and the event attracted major sponsorship for the first time in 1995.


The first full-time bar aimed at lesbians opened its doors in 2000.

2012 +

Since 2012, the event has raised close to £1 million for local LGBTQ+ community groups and attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year, as well as some of the biggest musical acts, including Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears, Dua Lipa, Jessie J, Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne, Emeli Sandé and many more. As calls grew for greater equality for the transgender community, Brighton also became the host for the first and largest Trans Pride outside of the United States.

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