Even the most casual visitor to Brighton cannot but notice the Gay and Lesbian Scene. It is there, full upfront in your face.
The highlight of this Gay Pride scene is the Summer Festival in the middle of the Summer, usually somewhere around end of July early August.
The organisers claim it to be the biggest Gay Pride event in the country, claiming the summer 2005 event attracted 120,000 visitors, with people coming from all over the world.
The event in the summer of 2005, running from Saturday 30 July 2005 to Sunday 7 August 2005, had over 70 events taking place throughout the city, including the big day itself on Saturday 6 August and a street party on the Sunday.
For 2006, the festival ran from Saturday 29 July to Sunday 3 August.
An otherwise successful 2006 festival was soured by two incidents: Activities by a reactionary Christian group objecting to the Parade and cancellation of the street party at short notice which may have far-reaching consequences beyond lack of fun on the day.
Christian Voice, a reactionary, far-right Christian group objected to the Parade on the grounds that it breached the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and in particular to the participation of Sussex Chief Constable Joe Edwards who took part in the Parade.
The street party was cancelled at extremely short notice on grounds of safety due to the large numbers of people on the street. Publicans reacted strongly, claiming had they known, they could have organised something themselves. In a fit of pique, they decided not to collect any money for the event.
The cancellation of the street party may have consequences far beyond loss of fun on the day. Last year, £10,000 was raised from the Street Party. This loss, for an event that is already heavily in the red, is dire.
Gay Pride in Brighton started in 1992, with a small afternoon event on The Level.
The University of Brighton and Spectrum have put together a project called Count Me In Too! to research the needs, views and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans people who live, work, socialise or use services in Brighton & Hove.