Brighton, also known as the ‘gay capital’ of the UK, has the earliest recordings of LGBTQ+ groups gathering from the 1930s. Throughout the 20th century the number of gay bars and pubs increased dramatically in Brighton, and today it is thought that 11-15% of Brighton’s adult population identify as part of the community. It also hosts the UK’s biggest pride festival in August each year.
During the 1984 miners strike, a London-based LGBTQ+ group (LGSM) decided to raise donations to support the miners in this Southern Welsh valley. This uplifting story is perfectly captured in the 2014 film ‘Pride’. This collaboration of oppressed groups led to wider LGBTQ+ acceptance and in turn, residents of Dulais Valley provided huge support for London’s pride March in 1985.
Home of the Scottish parliament, where Thatcher’s homophobic legislation (Section 28) was repealed. This occurred in Scotland in 2000, three years before the rest of the UK, making the Scottish parliament historic in advancing UK LGBTQ+ rights.
Being the capital, London is the home of many LGBTQ+ firsts. The first known gay bar, the first pride march, the first (and only) LGBTQ+ specific bookshop have all come from London. It has been home to many of the UK’s LGBTQ+ historic icons - Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing, and Virginia Woolf to name a few. London is a city laced with a rich tapestry of LGBTQ+ history.
In 1985, the UK’s first openly gay mayor, Margaret Roff, was nominated in Manchester. Manchester City council was also ranked #1 for LGBTQ+ employment from 2005-2009, and the city has been and still is an LGBTQ+ cultural hotspot.
Featured image: ncl.ac.uk