Brighton has had a thriving LGBT+ community for decades, often campaigning for greater equality and awareness for the LGBT+ community. There are LGBT+ bars, clubs and pubs aplenty and the two big Pride events in summer are the biggest in the UK! You can also find information on local LGBT+ support, with the Brighton & Hove LGBT switchboard running since 1975!
Brighton Pride is one of the biggest events of the year in Brighton (it brings in 2% of all visitors to Brighton in 1 day) and one of the biggest (by some accounts, the biggest) pride events in the UK. It has been running constantly since 1991, but Brighton held it's first Pride march in 1973, a year after a demonstration by the Sussex Gay Liberation Front in 1972. Brighton Pride is both the name of the event and the name of the charity that organises and runs the event - a charity that has collected over £200,000 since 2012 for local LGBT community groups. The main Pride event is now at Preston Park and is now a ticketed event, with a cheaper, but also ticketed, street party after the main show on St James's Street in Kemptown. The whole city comes to life for the event, so even if you're not interested in paying, you can watch the parade or just enjoy the atmosphere for the weekend.
Younger than Brighton Pride, but rapidly growing (70% a year for the past couple of years!), Brighton Trans* Pride was conceived through a desire to put the T of LGBT first. A not-for-profit community group focused on raising awareness for and inspiring change for the trans* community, it has the incredible title of Europe's First Trans* Pride! Since its inception, Trans* Pride has continued to go from strength to strength, with entertaining and educational events running across the weekend and culminating in a huge picnic on the beach.
Most of the LGBT bars and pubs are located in or around Kemptown, to the east of the Old Steine, near the seafront. Bar Revenge, Charles Street and Legends are all on the corner of the Old Steine and Marine Parade and they all have their own affiliated bars nearby or attached, so you can easily transition from drinking to dancing! Further along Marine Parade, you'll find The A Bar, which is attached to the Amsterdam Hotel.
Along St James's Street, you've got The Bulldog, The Royal Oak and Poison Ivy. The Bulldog is the oldest gay bar in Brighton, having been founded in 1979. The Royal Oak is a great place to go if you want a traditional pub feel, with plenty of ales to choose from!
Just around the corner from St James's Street, opposite the Pavilion on Prince's St, you'll find The Marlborough, complete with an in house theatre company and show space upstairs.
Doctor Brighton is the odd one out, being over near The Lanes, on the other side of the Old Steine, on the corner of Little East Street. Seafront location, pool tables and quiz machines - what more do you need?
Brighton has 3 main LGBT clubs, Revenge, The Basement Club and Envy. All of these are near the corner of Marine Parade and the Old Steine, open most nights and host a huge variety of events, DJs and music nights. Revenge is probably the largest, with 3 floors, all with different music, and a roof terrace. The Basement Club and Envy are both located below their own bars (Revenge has a separate bar nearby) and they are all open until early in the morning. On some bank holidays and around Pride, you might also spot Wild Fruit nights at venues around the city, which serve as pop-up LGBT nights for those interested.
Brighton is a popular place for all weddings and due to the huge number of requests, there was a competition held to be the first same sex couple married in Brighton at 00:01 on 29th of March 2014. A milestone you can read about for yourself here! There are a huge number of LGBT+ friendly wedding venues, organisers and wedding shops in Brighton to make sure your ceremony is exactly how you want it, from the smallest, 2 witness an the couple ceremonies, to huge, day-long affairs!
The longest running source of listening and support is the Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboard - it has run since 1975 and offers listening, information and support on a range of topics for the LGBT+ community. It also serves as a useful point of reference for other services and offers low cost counselling services too.
Brighton & Hove council have also collected together a range of useful resources. Links can be found below!