Introducing LGBTQ+ Brighton
Some want to visit Brighton for a day by the seaside… And some want to visit Brighton to express themselves and reveal their passion for all things LGBTQ+ related. Not only is Brighton known for being a coastal city, complete with its Palace Pier, but it is also known to display its high affection for the LGBTQ+ community.
Brighton is a city located in East Sussex. It is perfect for those wishing to spend the day on the beach and explore its exciting shopping quarters, such as the Imperial Arcade. During the day, you can tour this city, checking out some of its main attractions. When the night approaches, you can find plenty of Brighton gay bars and clubs to last you the entire night.
Brighton currently holds the crown as a city that is the LGBTQ+ capital of the UK, and quite rightly so. The following five reasons will justify why this informal decision has been made and the history leading up to this decision.
- Brighton’s Yearly Pride Festival
Held every year, this summer festival highlights the importance of the LGBTQ+ community and why it should be cherished by all of us. Having celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2022, it was a very special year, particularly for Ukraine and its LGBTQ+ community in particular.
The events on offer at this festival include a main stage area named Fabuloso at the Park’, a Pride Parade, and a Pride Village Party. Each event will have its tickets which you can view more information on by Clicking Here.
The festival isn’t short of famous artists that perform in aid of all things pride-related. Examples of top artists performing at ‘Fabuloso at the Park’ include Ella Eyre, The Pet Shop Boys, Boy George, and Dua Lipa. If you are lucky, you may be able to get close to the stage and take the best pictures of these performing artists.
The event’s website covers much more than what can be fitted into this section. Click Here to visit this website and explore everything you need to know about Brighton’s Pride Festival.
- The LGBTQ+ Bars and Clubs of Brighton
Around every corner, you will find several LGBTQ+ bars and clubs which provide the thrill of a decent Brighton night out. You can easily locate a cluster of these venues opposite Brighton’s Sea Life aquarium. This is known to be the ‘Gay Village’ of Brighton, home to some of the best Brighton gay bars and clubs.
Examples of the best LGBTQ+ bars and nightclubs in Brighton include:
- Club Revenge – A club that includes three floors of non-stop entertainment and all-out bangers, it is guaranteed to make you want to stay out for the whole night and make the most of all three floors. You can even party on its balcony looking over at the Palace Pier and chill in one of the VIP booths (prices are from £15 per person).
- Bar Broadway – Anyone who is after a delicious brunch and a karaoke session afterward will love to visit Bar Broadway – one the best gay bars Brighton has to offer. Its karaoke nights occur every week from Thursday to Sunday, 9 pm to 1 am, with a comedy club also included every Sunday evening from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. A range of food items can also be ordered from Play Bill’s Kitchen, which includes juicy burgers.
- Affinity Bar – This bar may appear cosy, however, it still brings a really good party vibe and is a good place to begin your night out in Brighton. The website for this venue explains the name change it completed recently and explains the reason behind it. There is plenty of seating for those who visit and wish to relax and enjoy a drink while listening to the music playing.
- Brighton in Drag
It will be very surprising if you visit Brighton and do not see a poster displaying a drag act. Several venues in Brighton offer the perfect opportunities to witness drag acts perform their routines. Brunch events are very popular for these drag acts to make an appearance (a word of warning – these brunches are not something you do during the day!).
A drag brunch usually includes three factors: singing, dancing, and bottomless drinking. Many of Brighton’s brunches boast a great time, but the only one where you can sing your heart out is bought to you by Bar Broadway. Here, you can eat a hearty meal before the main event begins and sing your heart out if you are brave enough.
You can also consider joining the fun at a Drag Bingo event, where you can earn a full row, two rows, or a whole house of numbers to win fabulous prizes every Friday night. Premium tickets for this event are also available to book for these events.
- Brighton’s History of Pride
Brighton’s love of the LGBTQ+ world dates back to the 1930s when many gay and lesbian bars & clubs became established. It was also recorded in 1930s Brighton that a transgender man married a woman, however, he was arrested and found guilty after making a false claim on the marriage certificate.
World War Two saw many of the LGBTQ+ community taking an interest in the soldiers who were based in Brighton. As well as this, secret gatherings among this community would take place, undetected by the police. These gatherings would take place secretly in LGBTQ+ bars, giving them a roaring 20s speakeasy vibe.
With the 1950s and 1960s approaching, it was clear that LGBTQ+ venues were heavily increasing in popularity. This ensured that Brighton stood out as a destination for gay tourists, as it does today.
This popularity continued into the 1970s when the first Gay Pride March took place through the streets of Brighton. Of course, this would not have been a major march, but the minority that supported it and took part in it were still proud of marching for their beliefs. These marches continued every year until today, not counting the years it was affected by the pandemic.
- Brighton’s Appreciation of Gay Marriage
Not only does Brighton hold the title of the gay capital of the UK, but it also holds the gay marriage capital of the UK. Brighton has been known to hold certain records in recent years with the highest census of gay marriages anywhere in the UK.
An example of this is back in 2017 when one in eight marriages that took place in Brighton were gay marriages, which is the highest proportion out of all other gay marriage numbers in the UK.
Venues in Brighton are more than welcoming when meeting the needs of the gay couple. For example, the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Kings Road is on hand to ensure that a booked gay wedding runs smoothly. These venues will also be able to offer wedding packages to suit the budgeting needs of the happy couple. When it comes to gay marriage, Brighton is the place to be.
The five reasons laid out above cover every LGBTQ+ aspect of Brighton and should give people who are part of this community the confidence to want to visit Brighton. In addition, meeting other LGBTQ+ community members in this city is a great way to connect as well as go on the best night out visiting Brighton’s gay venues.
If you are new to the LGBTQ+ community and wish to begin visiting gay bars and nightclubs (as well as finding out more about it), then Brighton is the ideal destination for you.
By Louie Amos
Louie Amos is a freelance travel writer currently operating in the UK. Having achieved his BCJ Diploma in Travel Journalism, he regularly posts articles on his website The Travelling Foodie, as well as Everything UK Travel