Gscene Magazine - September 2020 | WWW.GSCENE.COM

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SEPT 2020


GSCENE magazine D T @gscene F GScene.Brighton PUBLISHER Gscene Magazine CIC EDITORIAL ADVERTISING N 01273 900 216 E




MODEL Arka Funerals D PHOTOGRAPHER Nick Ford Photography,19 Oxford Street Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4LA N 07834 912247 I @nickfordphotography D


Jaq Bayles, Rory Finn, Graham Robson ARTS EDITOR Michael Hootman SUB EDITOR Graham Robson DESIGN Michèle Allardyce

Simon Adams, Rachel Badham, Jo Bourne, Nick Boston, Brian Butler, Jim Butler-Fleming, David Fray, Billie Gold, Richard Jeneway, Craig HanlonSmith, Samuel Hall, Frances Hubbard, Laurie Lavender, Alf Le Flohic, Enzo Marra, Eric Page, Gay Socrates, Michael Steinhage, Glenn Stevens, Netty Wendt, Roger Wheeler, Kate Wildblood

PHOTOGRAPHERS Creag Aaro, Steven Chantrey, Chris Jepson, Nick Ford, Jack Lynn, Simon Pepper




35 Nautilus Lounge 36 Scene news

Celebrating life in style and with dignity with Arka Funerals and Chris Sarson


MindOut’s Helen Jones discusses the impacts of loss on mental wellbeing

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in an electronic or other retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior knowledge and consent of the publishers. The appearance of any person or any organisation in Gscene is not to be construed as an implication of the sexual orientation or political persuasion of such persons or organisations.


Lunch Positive’s Gary Pargeter shares his story of being with partners as they faced the end of their lives


Rose Collis updates her fascinating book about Brighton & Hove’s relationship with death to reflect the impact of Covid-19 on the city


Rachel Badham reflects on what the pandemic has taken from young people


Phil Hodges’ advice on the importance of getting your affairs in order


Roger Wheeler’s personal account of bereavement


Rory Finn explores the lives of Gluck and Edward Carpenter


Fabio Dragotta looks at how doctrine can impact on communities NAUTILUS LOUNGE LAUNCH PARTY

3 News



All work appearing in Gscene Ltd is copyright. It is to be assumed that the copyright for material rests with the magazine unless otherwise stated on the page concerned.


The new chief constable of Sussex Police talks to Chris Gull and Rory Finn

Jaq Bayles talks to people involved in Switchboard’s bereavement peer support group and the creative collaboration with New Writing South

© GSCENE 2020




Rachel Badham on how popular culture influences young LGBTQ+ identities


Brian Butler talks to playwright James Cole about chemsex and suicide bids


Toby Lawrence, Jonesy and Alex Ryan - hosts of the new comedy podcast

ARTS 46 47 47 48 49

Arts News Art Matters All That Jazz Classical Notes Page’s Pages

REGULARS 43 44 54 55 55 56 57 57 58 59 59 60

Shopping Turn Back The Pages Craig’s Thoughts Homely Homily Netty’s World MindOut Billie’s Golden Hour Stuff & Things Rae’s Reflections Positive Focus Laurie’s Allotment Twisted Gilded Ghetto

INFORMATION 60 Classifieds 61 Services Directory 62 Advertisers’ Map



WE ARE FABULOSO! Brighton & Hove Pride’s first Digital Pride Festival is a resounding success Marking 30 years of LGBTQ+ campaigning, protest and celebration, We Are FABULOSO! also included archive parade footage and iconic performances from main stages of the past, while messages from our local community groups ensured the virtual Pride Parade promoted and highlighted the essential support and year-round services they offer.

the Brighton Rainbow Fund and local charities and we really hope donations continue to come in as people watch all the entertainment back on our YouTube channel. “A huge thank you to everyone who tuned in over the weekend. Brighton & Hove Pride has always been time to come together to celebrate and embrace diversity and inclusion in our great city, and just because we were not able to meet in person doesn’t mean we can’t support and celebrate our fantastic LGBTQ+ communities. Looking forward seeing you all back in Brighton & Hove in 2021.”

) Brighton & Hove Pride’s first Digital Pride Festival, We Are FABULOSO!, was a resounding success last month, raising an amazing £14,279.27 (and counting!) for the Brighton Rainbow Fund which gives grants to local LGBTQ+/HIV groups that deliver effective frontline services to LGBTQ+ people in the city. We Are FABULOSO! was a fundraiser for the Brighton Rainbow Fund, local charities and community groups. Anyone watching on demand later can also contribute to increase the amount raised.

Brilliantly hosted by comedians and broadcasters Stephen Bailey and Zoe Lyons, We Are FABULOSO! had more than 14 hours of content streamed live from the studio in Brighton, featured performances from over 100 artists, including Nile Rodgers & Chic, Jess Glynne, Billy Porter, Todrick Hall and Carly Rae Jepsen, as well as supporting messages from artists who were due to play the Pride festival in Preston Park this year, including the Pussycat Dolls and Bananarama.

Extending way beyond the city boundary and UK borders, the first Brighton & Hove Pride Digital Festival had a truly global reach, receiving messages from viewers in Argentina, Columbia, USA and Asia as well as from across Europe, highlighting just how important a Pride celebration is to LGBTQ+ communities across the world. Streaming live through YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Instagram and 13 terrestrial TV channels, We Are FABULOSO! reached in excess of half a million viewers over the weekend and even YouTube promoted the event on Twitter to 72 million followers.

Paul Kemp, managing director of Brighton & Hove Pride CIC, said: “While we acknowledge that Pride this year was very different, we are really pleased that our usual visitors heeded the advice to stay home, stay safe and celebrate with us online. We have to say a huge thank you to all the artists, performers and interviewees who either gave us permission to show archive footage or recorded new material for us. We also extend our thanks to

Brighton & Hove City Council, Sussex Police, the NHS and local agencies for their support for the Pride Digital Festival and consistency of messaging to encourage people to stay at home and join the fun online. “Not just about the celebration, We Are FABULOSO! also had large sections highlighting the campaigning, queer politics and essential work of

Chris Gull, chair of the Brighton Rainbow Fund, added: “Wow... what an amazing achievement for Brighton & Hove Pride to create such entertaining, provocative and informative shows, truly reflecting the essence of the Pride movement globally, and the unique atmosphere of Brighton & Hove Pride. “This was a fundraising event, and the money raised during the live shows was just the beginning. Those watching over the weekend will be joined by thousands on catch up via Youtube over the next days and weeks. We have a simple request... this is all

free, you will all see world class entertainment, you will all see why the funds raised which we distribute to LGBTQ+ and HIV groups are vital, especially this year. Think what you spend on Netflix, or on tickets to a concert, or drinks and food over Pride weekends, and donate... Please go the extra mile this year by donating.” D To donate, visit Y If you missed any of We Are FABULOSO!, you can catch it all again by visiting






) RadioReverb, Brighton’s not-for-profit community radio station, raised over £1,000 during its Pride fundraiser, Pride on Air 2020, last month. Funds raised will be split equally between the radio station and the Brighton Rainbow Fund, which gives grants to local LGBTQ+/HIV groups that deliver effective frontline services to LGBTQ+ people in the city. Ben Noble, director of RadioReverb, said: “Our presenters and listeners really stood together in support of the local LGBTQ+ community, and this money will make a huge difference to us and to local LGBTQ+ causes. Our presenters managed to tackle a lot of important issues while joyfully celebrating the LGBTQ+ community of our city. The money raised is fantastic, but beyond that we also hope we raised the profile of the Brighton Rainbow Fund and increased awareness of the need for continuing support for LGBTQ+ people in Brighton and around the world. A huge thank you from all of us at RadioReverb to our listeners and supporters.” D For more info on RadioReverb, visit: D For more info on Brighton Rainbow Fund, visit:


) Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Chris, a trustee at MindOut, and his partner Eros had their civil partnership in June and, instead of buying presents for the big day, their family and friends donated almost £1,750 to MindOut, the LGBTQ+ mental health charity which provides mental health support, counselling and advocacy services to LGBTQ+ people. Chris and Eros said: “These services are now in demand more than ever. MindOut was an easy choice; we know the stress they are under to raise funds.” D For more info on MindOut, visit:

) The Brighton Rainbow Fund, which distributes community raised funds to local LGBTQ+ and HIV projects as grants, has joined with One Lottery to create The BRF Lottery.

tickets is a great way to do it, giving you the chance to win cash and other prizes while specifically supporting local LGBTQ+ and HIV projects. Please join us today ready for the first draw.”

Chris Gull, chair of the Brighton Rainbow Fund, said: “With the necessary cancellation of our major fundraising events this summer, such as Pride and Brighton Bear Weekend, we have only a fraction of the usual amount of money to distribute to the projects that provide vital services to so many within our LGBTQ+ communities.

The BRF lottery will be part of the weekly draw made by One Lottery, with a jackpot prize of £25,000. Tickets are £1 each and the first draw will be on Saturday, October 3.

“This year we are asking those in our communities who are able to, to consider making a small regular contribution, and buying weekly lottery

D For more details and to sign up to choose your numbers, visit D For more info on the Brighton Rainbow Fund, visit:

NEW SWITCHBOARD CEO ) Switchboard has announced that Jacob Bayliss will be taking over as the new chief executive officer from mid-September. Jacob is joining Switchboard after a role with LGBT Foundation leading the Pride in Practice national pilot, but before this role largely worked in and around Brighton and Sussex, including with Switchboard on establishing the Health Inclusion Award. He has also worked in the VCS for more than 10 years and with large and small LGBTQ+ organisations in the UK and Australia, as well as other charities, including Amnesty International and YMCA. Most of his work has focused on LGBTQ+ communities and health and social care, and he is passionate about community engagement and coproduction, intersectional social justice, and health inequality.

run by and for LGBTQ+ people, still providing a vital listening service for anyone who needs us, and still rising to meet the changing and emerging needs of LGBTQ+ people in the south east. I feel honoured to be part of continuing

Jacob said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining the team at Switchboard, and want to thank Lyndsay Macadam for all of their brilliant work and leadership over the past 18 months. I've been reflecting on the rich history of LGBTQ+ communities in Brighton, and on the importance of Switchboard (or what was the Lavender Line back in 1975) to those communities.

Dawn Draper, chair of Switchboard, said: “We’re delighted that Jacob will be joining us as our new CEO in September following the departure of Lyndsay for pastures new. Jacob has a wide range of skills and experience that he will bring to Switchboard that will allow us to continue to take the organisation forward in our 45th year and beyond for the LGBTQ+ community.”

“So much has changed in the 45 years since Switchboard was founded, but almost half a century later we’re still





this long history of making a real difference for LGBTQ+ communities through the many projects and services Switchboard offer.”

D For more info, visit:




PROUD OF OUR LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY I was expecting hordes of people with little social distancing, and MAN how wrong could I have been? Jim Butler-Fleming, director of Pride Support, reports from the streets over Pride weekend ) What a time to be proud in our LGBTQ+ community here in Brighton. What would have been Brighton & Hove Pride weekend I decided to help some colleagues out by taking pictures of the usual ‘hot spots’, where people hang out during the festivities. As I was sat on the bus on the way into Kemptown I was anxious and nervous but as I came down Marine Parade, I became overwhelmingly surprised. I was expecting hordes of people with little social distancing, and MAN how wrong could I have been? I decided to stay on the bus until I got to the Old Steine to then walk around a little, wearing my Trans-Inclusive Pride flag facemask. The same time last year saw the Pride Pleasure Gardens hosted there, with the Box Office and Welcome Centre on the same site. The queues were wrapped all around the entire gardens but moving quickly. But this year? A few very small groups of socially distanced people. Even walking up North Street and then down West Street towards the beach, it truly felt like just a regular Saturday afternoon. This, of course, was a bittersweet feeling. As it is for many other people, Brighton & Hove Pride weekend is the highlight of my entire year, and something I have either travelled from further afield to until I recently moved back here again for over 20 years (on and off). My first being a far cry from where things are today (I worked my first Brighton & Hove Pride back in 2000 behind the Queens Arms bar!). There were Facebook adverts for an ‘Unofficial Beach Party’ and as I walked along the main coast road back towards Kemptown I was forever glancing over the railings to see if I could see any sign of such a gathering. Thank everything that may or may not be holy (or cosmic, or maybe nothing at all, who knows) that was not the case. The occasional Pride flag being flown by groups of friends, some people walking along the prom with rainbow regalia but no masses of people not following social distancing guidelines. Arriving back into Kemptown, my next stop was St James’s Street and the area that would have hosted the Pride Village Party. While I can’t say that the streets were empty, they were... different to what I had expected. Most venues had little or even no people (in some circumstances) congregating outside. What made me proud that weekend was that we, as a community, recognised that while we would normally be protesting, marching and celebrating our diversity, we did not fall foul of social distancing guidelines – and more importantly gave no reason for any of the usual tabloid rags to write a ‘Look what the gays have done!’ article to headline the Sunday papers.








) MindOut, the LGBTQ+ mental health charity, has launched a three-year strategic plan, produced in consultation with its service users, volunteers, staff, partners and a wide range of stakeholders. MindOut consulted widely for views and contributions to inform the new strategic plan, including a public online consultation survey with 48 replies. The consultation revealed that MindOut is seen as a valued community asset, with a good reputation, good standard of service delivery and offers supportive employment. It also told the charity that it could expand outside Brighton & Hove, develop its publicity, offer more welfare benefits advice, do more national and international work, do more anti-stigma work and expand its offer for people of colour, people in rural areas and the online services. In order to fulfil its strategic aims, and following the consultation, MindOut plans to develop in the following areas over the next three years: • Continue to provide LGBTQ+ mental health support • Deliver sustainable funding • Improve access for minority communities • Improve mainstream service provision for LGBTQ+ people • Position MindOut as a thought leader and initiator of national campaigns • Increase volunteering opportunities MindOut says: “We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the consultation. We listened carefully to all views submitted and they have been used to shape the strategic plan.” D To see the full three-year strategic plan, visit:



MINDOUT IS RECRUITING & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ) MindOut, the LGBTQ+ mental health project, is looking for an experienced administrator to join its friendly team, supporting it to deliver a range of LGBTQ+ mental health services. The administrator will run office systems, databases, IT and social media. Closing date is Thursday, September 10 at 5pm. Interviews will be held on Friday, September 18. Applications are welcome to join MindOut’s team of LGBTQ+ volunteers for its Online Support, Peer Mentoring and Befriending, and Counselling services. MindOut will next be recruiting for volunteers in November 2020. You are welcome to send in applications in the meantime and the charity will keep them on file until then. D For more info/application packs for the volunteer and Administrator position, visit: D For more info on MindOut, visit:

depth and leave more time for questions and answers. 1.5-hour session on Tuesday, September 29, 10–11.30am, £25. 3-hour session on Wednesday, September 30, 10am–1pm, £45.

) Allsorts Youth Project has announced the September dates of its training courses Understanding & Supporting LGBTU+ Children & Young People and Understanding & Supporting Trans & GenderExploring Children & Young People. Understanding & Supporting LGBT+ Children & Young People will explore the issues and challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or those who are unsure of their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTU+), children and young people face, how their mental health and wellbeing are impacted by these challenges, and how best to support them. This training course has two options to suit your time, budget, and training needs. The core content will be the same in both sessions, however the longer session will go into much more

Understanding & Supporting Trans & Gender-Exploring Children & Young People will explore the issues and challenges that trans and genderexploring children and young people face, how their mental health and wellbeing are impacted by these challenges, and how best to support them. 3-hour session on Wednesday, September 16, 10am–1pm, £45. All profits made from this training go directly into providing support services for vulnerable LGBTU+ children and young people. For more info on the courses and to book a place, visit:

D For more info on Allsorts, visit:


) Allsorts Youth Project has announced the launch of the Homework Club this month. The Homework Club will take place every Tuesday from 4-5.30pm and is for LGBTU+ young people of secondary school age who would like a safer space to study and get help from volunteer LGBTQ+ tutors.

If you're LGBTU+ and aged 11-18, complete this survey and a member of the Allsorts staff team will get back to you: zLA

Tutors all have a special knowledge of or qualification in a subject and tutors and young people are matched up according to what kind of help is needed.

D For more info on Allsorts Youth Project, visit:

E Alternatively, to express your interest or ask questions, email:




Consortium, which works to strengthen and support LGBTQ+ groups, organisations and projects, has announced the launch of the LGBT+ Futures: National Emergencies Trust Fund, which will distribute £350,000 of onward grants to diverse LGBTQ+ organisations from across the UK resilience of our LGBTQ+ sector and will use this funding as a springboard to raise the profile of diverse LGBTQ+ issues with other funders, government and external stakeholders.”

) This new fund is designed to address additional needs LGBTQ+ people and communities have faced as a result of Covid-19. It will support and strengthen LGBTQ+ organisations that have been impacted by Covid-19 and who are working hard to meet the needs of those most affected.


As part of the launch, and responding to the evidenced increase in calls and requests for support through LGBTQ+ helplines, Consortium has announced the award of grants totalling £200,000 to helplines supporting LGBTQ+ people across the UK, including LGBT+ Switchboard, Brighton & Hove Switchboard, Galop, MindOut, The Intercom Trust, LGBT Health and Wellbeing, Cara Friend and LGBT Foundation. This immediate injection of funding will allow them to respond to the huge increase in call volumes so as more LGBTQ+ people can access the support.

Helpline grant recipients, who will work together to share their knowledge, data and intelligence, have commented on the impact this injection of funding will have for LGBTQ+ in their geographical or thematic areas.

Paul Roberts OBE, chief executive of Consortium, said, “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding. LGBTQ+ people and communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and we cannot thank NET enough for responding to the evidence and supporting our under-funded sector with these funds. Consortium is passionate about the long-term



Applications are now being invited from any UKbased organisation working with and for LGBTQ+ people and communities. Funding of up to £15,000 will be available to organisations.

Leni Morris, chief executive of Galop and one of the immediate grant recipients providing support to those facing domestic abuse, said: “Galop is delighted to be a recipient of these vital funds supporting the LGBTQ+ community in the UK. Galop helps thousands of LGBTQ+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse every year via our National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline, which has seen demand increase enormously this year. This funding will support LGBTQ+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse across the country at this time of crisis.” Maruska Greenwood, chief executive of LGBT Health & Wellbeing in Scotland, said: “LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately affected by Covid-19, as reflected in the dramatic increase in engagements experienced by our LGBT Helpline Scotland. The impact lockdown

Steve Williamson, chief executive of Cara-Friend in Northern Ireland, said: “In Northern Ireland we have seen an almost 300% increase in Helpline calls. Cara-Friend’s LGBT Switchboard Helpline is the main point of contact and support for so many of our older LGBTQ+ generation here, and especially for those who face rural isolation or who are forced to live hidden lives in difficult home circumstances during the pandemic. It is literally a lifeline. This new network of UK LGBTQ+ helplines is exactly the response we needed to see.”



has had on people’s mental health is now a key feature of many of our calls. This funding will enable us to continue the delivery of our extended helpline opening hours.”

Paul Roberts added: “We recognise there are parts of our diverse communities that are underrepresented, whether geographically or those experiencing cross-cutting issues. With this funding we will also be exploring the impact on Welsh organisations and how best to increase capacity across the country and have ringfenced 20% of funding for organisations working with intersecting communities – with a particular focus on BAME/PoC communities. This is just a start, more funding will be needed. Consortium will be leading the charge to keep LGBTQ+ voices on the agenda.” D For guidance to apply for a grant and application details, visit: D LGBT Health & Wellbeing in Scotland: D Cara Friend in Northern Ireland: D Galop:






SEA SERPENTS ARE BACK BHSS says: “It feels so good to be back. We're still following RFU guidelines to keep you safe, and it was great to see not only our returning faces, but three new ones too.” ) The wait is finally over. The members of gay and inclusive rugby team Brighton & Hove Sea Serpents RFC (BHSS) were allowed to train in a larger group last month, playing touch rugby and loving it.

E If you'd like to give rugby a go, email F or message them on Facebook @bhssrfc I For more info, visit:

CRAWLEYLGBT RAISES LGBTQ+ AWARENESS IN CRAWLEY ) CrawleyLGBT, an organisation providing educational and advisory services for the local LGBTQ+ community, said it had a fantastic time handing out flyers, rainbow flags and chatting with the public at the County Mall shopping centre in the town last month. CrawleyLGBT said: “It was so much fun. Thank you to everyone who came and saw us.”

LAUNCH OF PROUD GEEK STORE them. Where parents can find literature to help them understand gender dysphoria. Where everyone can find a superhero that they can identify with.”

CrawleyLGBT will host the first Crawley Pride next year, uniting the town with a range of festivities including a parade, Bar 7 tent, community stalls and main stage with headline acts TBA, at Goffs Park on Saturday, August 28, 2021 from 12pm. F For more info, follow on Facebook @CrawleyLGBT2019 D or visit

Unisex Hairsalon 18 St Georges Road, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1EB

01273 623 408

) Proud Geek, a specialist retailer of LGBTQ+ entertainment and media, offering a wide selection of new and catalogued LGBTQ+ titles from the past 25 years, has launched.

Proud Geek’s aim is to be a onestop-shop for everything geeky that’s LGBTQ+ centric, from Sapphic fiction, to trans superheroes, to gay teen coming of age classics.

Tom added: “I think it’s important for us as members of the LGBTQ+ community to see ourselves in the content we consume. Growing up gay Proud Geek is an online LGBTQ+ was hard. Finding LGBTQ+ shop with a focus on queer comics, representation in media was even books and films. Owned and run out of harder. I’ve been collecting queer his home in Birmingham, Tom Buckle cinema for the past 15 years and created Proud Geek after realising have always found it difficult to get there was no online space for hold of specific titles, so I created a LGBTQ+ people to find entertainment space where they’re all under one and media designed for them. (virtual) roof.” He said: “Proud Geek was set up to help promote great titles, wellproduced films, unknown gems and obscure queer media that you’re going to fall in love with. To showcase films where queer-coded characters don’t suffer, but thrive. Where people can find content created specifically for

D For more info, visit: T F I @ProudGeekStore






) Join Writing Our Legacy and special guest Jacob Ross for an online social and networking event for writers and creatives of colour to come together and share experiences on Saturday, September 26, 5–6pm. The fourth in a series of monthly socials with special guests, this event is part of a wider digital programme of activity supported by the Arts Council England Emergency Response Fund Grant and produced by Writing Our Legacy, an organisation which aims to raise awareness of the contributions of Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) writers, poets, playwrights and authors born, living or connected to Sussex and the South East. Jacob Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and creative writing tutor. His crime fiction novel, The Bone Readers, won the inaugural Jhalak Prize in 2017. His literary novel Pynter Bender was published to much critical literary acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize and chosen as one of the British Authors Club’s top three Best First Novels. His latest book is Tell No-One About This, a collection of stories written over a span of 40 years, including from Song for Simone (1986) and A Way to Catch the Dust (1999) and more than a dozen new ones. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the VS Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Olive Cook, Scott Moncrieff and Tom-Gallon Literary Awards. Jacob is Associate Fiction Editor at Peepal Tree Press and the editor of Closure, Contemporary Black British short stories. Price: pay what you can, suggested £3. The Zoom link and password will be sent on the day of the event after you have booked. D To book, visit: E If you need any help or more info, email D For more info and details of other events, visit:



WWW.GSCENE.COM CBBC AIRS FIRST TRANS CENTRIC SHOW ) CBBC made history by airing the first show on the channel to feature a transgender protagonist. The Australian show First Day was recently shown in the UK, and it documents the experience of 12-yearold Hannah Bradford (portrayed by Evie Macdonald) as she starts a new school. The opening episode depicts Hannah’s struggle during primary school as she is bullied by other students for her gender identity and frequently addressed by her deadname.

WHITEHAWK FC ANNOUNCE DR SOPHIE COOK AS THE CLUB’S FIRST EQUALITIES & DIVERSITY OFFICER ) Whitehawk Football Club has announced Dr Sophie Cook FRSA as the club’s first equalities & diversity officer, taking up her role in readiness for the 2020/21 season, the Hawks’ 75th Anniversary. The equalities & diversity role is an FA initiative designed to ensure that all non-league football clubs are compliant with current relevant equalities and diversity standards, including those developed by the Isthmian Football League, Sussex FA and the FA.

A 2017 article by The Guardian suggested that, like Hannah, trans children are more likely to be bullied than cisgender children, and argues that ‘understanding and support’ would help alleviate the struggles of young trans people. CBBC has been praised for airing First Day in the UK, with LGBTQ+ organisation Stonewall tweeting “representation is so important, so we’re thrilled this show has come to the UK’.

Sophie is one of the most prominent transgender writers and broadcasters in the country, and was the first transgender woman to work in football’s Premier League as club photographer for AFC Bournemouth following her transition in the summer of 2015. She’s an in-demand public speaker, delivering keynote talks internationally, including a TEDx Talk on change, fear, vulnerability, diversity, mental health and LGBTQ+ workshops for organisations such as JP Morgan, Virgin Media and Stonewall. She regularly speaks at football events for Fans For Diversity and visited Moscow to speak to LGBTQ+ activists during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Fifteen-year-old actress Evie Macdonald, who is also transgender,

Andy Schofield, Hawks’ chair, said: “We are delighted to appoint Sophie to this new official role. She is a Hawks fan, has been instrumental in setting up Rainbow Rovers and has lots of ideas for making the club even more inclusive.” Sophie said: “Football holds a unique position within our society to carry the message of diversity and equality into areas that are often ignored and written off. The game is a universal language that transcends social barriers; I’m delighted and very proud to be the first equalities & diversity officer at Whitehawk FC. Rainbow Rovers sends out the message that the beautiful game belongs to everyone regardless of sexuality, gender identity, race, religion or gender.”

Sophie Cook with (l-r) Maria Ryder and Anwar Uddin from the Football Supporters Association, Steve Darby and Hawks’ Head of Commercial & Marketing, Kevin Miller. D For more info, visit:

previously spoke out against the transphobic views of Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, saying gender non-conforming people “don’t deserve to be disrespected”. She continued to describe her experiences with conversion therapy, which has been widely discredited and branded unethical, and stated “we get one childhood and mine was stolen from me by attitudes like this”. CBBC has greatly increased LGBTQ+ representation recently – the airing of First Day followed shortly after mockumentary style drama The Next Step detailed the blossoming relationship between two teenage girls. Although the depiction of a kiss between the two girls sparked backlash, the show was also praised for bringing LGBTQ+ characters into the spotlight. I Follow Evie on Instagram: evie_m_official

Sophie is also the player manager of Whitehawk Football Club’s LGBTQ+ team Rainbow Rovers, and is listed in the top 20 of the 2019 Brighton Power 100; the 100 most influential people in the region.

D Catch up on First Day on BBC iPlayer: de/m000lwxw/first-day-series-1episode-1



GENDER RECOGNITION IN UK AMONG EU’S LOWEST RANKING ) A 2020 report by the European Commission has revealed that legal gender recognition in the UK is one of the lowest ranking in Europe. It is similar to that in Poland, where there are currently extensive debates surrounding LGBTQ+ rights, and worse than the recognition of trans people in Hungary and Croatia, which are generally regarded as less LGBTQ+ friendly. The report examined the experiences of trans people in Europe, and the link between legal gender recognition and socioeconomic position. The UK was placed in the second lowest ranking cluster of countries. Discussions to upgrade the UK’s 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA) have been circulating since 2016, however action to do so has been consistently delayed

by the Conservative government, despite extensive discourses on plans to improve the GRA legislature in 2018. Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal were the highest ranking countries in terms of their approach to legal gender recognition; they all allow trans people to self-determine their legal gender, which is what LGBTQ+ campaigners in the UK have been calling for. The only countries that ranked worse than the UK were Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania, all which have no process for legal gender recognition at all. D To see the full report, visit: files/legal_gender_recognition_in_t he_eu_the_journeys_of_trans_peop le_towards_full_equality_web.pdf


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COMMUNITY ADVOCACY TRAINING FROM QTIPOC NARRATIVES sessions will help build a community team that can support in navigating some of the barriers we all meet.

) QTIPoC Narratives Collective, with the support of transgender support and social group The Clare Project, will be holding a free twopart Community Advocacy Training webinar, by and for QTIPoC (queer, trans, intersex people of colour) on Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5. Places are limited and an online questionnaire is available to fill in to reserve a place: In the past three years, QTIPoC Narratives' organisers have found that the community is continually being let down in many areas, such as: • Housing and healthcare • Policing and detention • Education and employment • Social work QTIPoC Narratives is inviting participants to a two-part webinar session (both do not need to be attended, although that would be ideal) on learning to be a better advocate for themselves and each other. QTIPoC Narratives hopes the skills gained in these training


The sessions will be led by experienced QTIPoC advocates that QTIPoC Narratives highly recommend: •Saturday, September 4, from 11am–1pm with Josetta Malcolm

•Sunday, September 5, from 2–4pm with Olivia King E QTIPoC Narratives is hoping to hold more sessions for QTIPoC and non-QTIPoC so if you’re a grassroots group interested in the training, email F For more info on QTIPoc Narratives, follow @qtipocnarratives

SUPPORT FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN BRIGHTON & HOVE ) Switchboard and Survivors’ Network are setting up a trans-led project to support trans, non-binary and intersex survivors of sexual violence in Brighton & Hove. As part of this process, Switchboard and Survivors’ Network would like to make contact with more people from the trans, non-binary and/or intersex communities to hold interviews to gather thoughts to help inform the shape the project takes. These interviews will be open to all trans, non-binary and intersex people in the UK, regardless of survivor status. Within that, they are particularly interested in hearing from black people, homeless people, people of colour, people of faith, sex workers, survivors of sexual violence and people from the intersex community. The interviews, which can be done via video call, voice call or be written, will be held between Friday, August 20 and Friday, September 3 and Switchboard and Survivors’ Network can be flexible depending on the needs of participants. If participants would feel most comfortable talking to a trans interviewer, that can be arranged. While this project is about supporting survivors, it will not be asking questions about traumatic experiences. E For more info, email: or D Switchboard is a confidential listening service for the LGBTQ+ communities. For more info, visit: D Survivors’ Network support survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Sussex. For more info, visit:






MORE TO ME THAN HIV ) David Fray shares his disclosure story as part of the ongoing project, More To Me Than HIV, aimed at breaking down the stigma historically attached to the virus. I was diagnosed HIV positive in November 1993, at the age of 23. After the initial shock, it took a few months to sink in and process. Thankfully, I already knew a handful of friends who were open about their status, which helped support and empower me to ‘come out’ to my close circle of friends.

SUSSEX BEACON WELCOMES BACK DAY SERVICE USERS ) The Sussex Beacon, the Brighton-based charity specialising in care and support for people living with HIV in East and West Sussex, welcomed Day Service users back on Wednesday, July 29. The Sussex Beacon says: “It's been a long time since many were able to visit and get treatment outside of the home. We marked the occasion with a socially-distanced picnic in the garden, provided by the kitchen.” The Day Service is a weekly group offering a safe and confidential space to be with others living with HIV. It

Shortly after I started to volunteer for the Sussex Aids Centre & Helpline (SACH), hoping to learn as much as possible about HIV, while also helping others. During this time, I also volunteered to make a video diary of my love life as a young person living with HIV for MTV Europe, which would form a segment of a programme for World Aids Day. However, with a video camera as my constant companion for six weeks, there wasn’t much love life to report. MTV still screened a four-minute segment, and I was comfortable in the knowledge that my parents, family and their friends were unlikely to see the finished programme because it was aired on cable television, which they didn’t have. So, while I was completely open about living with HIV to complete strangers, I hid my status from my family. I’d already gone through a ‘disclosure journey’ with my sexuality, and that had had a mixed response from my family. Aside from this fear of rejection, I also wanted to protect them from their own prejudices, anxieties, and misinformation about the virus. I decided that I’d only tell my family if I became seriously ill. Yet even when I visibly looked different due to toxic treatments, I still kept it from them by avoiding going to see them or sending photographs of me. Telling them about my volunteering for HIV charities meant that they had ‘read between the lines’ as I gradually educated them about HIV. So, when I eventually did build up the courage, 15 years later, to disclose my status, it wasn’t as much of a shock as I’d thought it would be. Having an undetectable viral load was a good thing, so there was no need to worry about me. I’ve encountered only minor prejudice within the gay community on dating websites, where exclusionary language referring to ‘clean people’ discriminates. However, while I was initially insulted, I soon decided that the problem was their ignorance. I used to tell everybody that I am HIV positive, but now I do it on a need to know basis. I will never deny my status if people ask me directly. Being ‘out’ about my status has been a liberating experience. There is great help available for people who would like to come out about their status, such as Peer Support. Living with HIV is no longer scary and, in truth, you will have better medical attention than somebody who is not living with HIV, and people should expect a perfectly ‘normal’ and fruitful life. D For more info, visit: E or email Follow: T F I moretomethanhiv

works with people living with HIV to enable them to confidentially manage their health and social needs. The group is an opportunity to be with others living with HIV, in a confidential space, and to receive support targeted to individual needs, specialist casework support for physical and emotional health, as well as information and support to access other services. D For more info on the Sussex Beacon Day Service, visit: s-we-provide/day-service D

HIV: US TRIAL FOR ‘POTENTIAL CURE’ GIVEN APPROVAL ) American Gene Technologies (AGT) has been given US government approval to trial a gene therapy that AGT talks of as a potential cure for HIV. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) gave clearance for a Phase 1 trial for the research product AGT103-T starting in September in Washington and Baltimore. AGT103-T is developed from blood cells using an 11-day process that increases T-cells, which fight HIV, but uses a lentiviral vector-based gene therapy. Lentiviral vectors in gene therapy is a method by which genes can be inserted, modified or deleted in organisms using lentivirus. Lentivirus are a family of viruses that infect by inserting DNA into their host cells’ genome.

In preclinical studies, the company said AGT103-T demonstrated the ability to clear itself of HIV when challenged with the virus and HIVinfected cells. To date AGT has made no products that are used in the ongoing treatment and management of HIV. While the trial has been cautiously welcomed, the announcement has drawn criticism for raising expectations. Derek Lowe has a PHD in organic chemistry and has worked for a number of pharmaceutical companies. In his blog he said, “Throwing around the word ‘cure’, before you have treated a single human patient, is flatout irresponsible.” Preliminary data from the trial is expected by the end of 2020. D To follow Derek Lowe’s blog, visit:


LUNCH POSITIVE REOPENS ) Lunch Positive, the local HIV charity that brings people together for food, friendship and peer support, reopens the weekly Friday lunch club and monthly evening supper group in September. Every Friday, the HIV lunch club will open as a drop-in from 12 pm till 3pm at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, with lunch served from 1pm. As part of a Covid-secure setting, the lunch club is set up café style with table service over two floors, with volunteers present to sit and chat with people coming along. There will also be a ‘drop in and collect groceries’ for anyone struggling to shop regularly or in need of extra food. The evening supper group will reopen on Wednesday, September 9 at 6pm, and anyone living with HIV is invited to come along. Alongside this return to supportive peer social gatherings, Lunch Positive will continue its food delivery service to people in need, which has evolved ever since the start of lockdown. Lunch Positive will also continue to develop its telephone befriending service. A brand new range of activities, safe and supportive social events are also on the horizon, being rolled out from October onwards. Gary Pargeter, service manager, said: “We’re so very pleased to be reopening our services and being with people again. The response to the prospect of our reopening has been amazing, and it’s been great to hear from so many people. Alongside this, we’re ever mindful that Covid still presents challenges and worries for many people, and we’re totally focused on responding to this. Our amazing volunteer team, who’ve given over 3,000 hours of their time volunteering during lockdown, have been brilliant and are always here for people accessing our services.” D For more info on Lunch Positive, visit: D or email: N or call 07846 464384 F or follow:

THT FREE HIV AWARENESS TRAINING COURSE ) HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is running another free online HIV Awareness training course in September/October over Zoom. There are three compulsory two-hour modules that make up the usual One-Day HIV Awareness training and two optional additional modules that focus on specific issues around HIV & Ageing or HIV & Black Communities. Those who have already attended the HIV Awareness training, online or in person, can book to do the extra modules. The training is free and will be delivered interactively via Zoom. THT stresses the importance of participants being able to attend all the modules in the correct order to ensure all the information is received. • Module 1 (Introduction to HIV) on Thursday, September 3, 11am-1pm, looks at: current snapshot of HIV in the UK & worldwide; definitions of HIV & terminology and HIV transmission. • Module 2 (HIV Treatment & Prevention) on Thursday, September 10, 11am-1pm, looks at: HIV prevention methods and HIV treatment overview. • Module 3 (HIV Stigma & Discrimination) on Thursday, September 17, 11am – 1pm, looks at: impact of HIV stigma & discrimination, personal experiences from someone living with HIV and case studies. • Optional Extra Module (HIV & Ageing), Thursday, September 24, 11am- 1pm, looks at: specific considerations around ageing & HIV (including stigma); impact of diagnosis before medication; personal experiences of over 50s living with HIV. • Optional Extra Module (HIV & Black Communities) on Thursday, October 1, 11am – 1pm, looks at: the differences within black communities from a sexual health and HIV perspective; insight into the ways in which black communities are affected by HIV and sexual health; and asks why do healthcare disparities exist and the impact of stigma in black communities. E To book, or to enquire into bespoke online training for your staff team, or to attend the Optional Extra Modules, email Alice Booth or Phillip Wragg: D For more info, visit:

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO 100s OF PEOPLE THIS YEAR ........................................................ ) ) ) ) )

Wide range of roles Various days and shifts available No experience necessary – full training given Travel expenses paid Great team to work with!

For info about different volunteering roles email or call 07846


For more info, to sign-up for updates, and to access support visit



WWW.GSCENE.COM HOW TO HAVE SEX WHILE MANAGING THE RISK OF COVID-19 - SEX GUIDELINES RELEASED BY THT ) Sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has released new guidance on having sex while social distancing and managing the risk of Covid-19.


Research by THT in partnership with sexual health clinic 56 Dean Street in June found that 84% of people hadn’t had sex with someone outside of their immediate household since lockdown began. But, as restrictions continue into a sixth month and are starting to be lifted, THT says asking everyone to refrain from sex entirely is no longer realistic.



Dr Michael Brady, medical director at THT, said: “Sex is a very important part of life and asking people to avoid sex indefinitely isn’t realistic. That’s why, as the Covid19 pandemic continues, we all need to find ways to balance our need for sex and intimacy with the risks of the spread of Covid-19.

) Move Donate Nominate, a fundraising challenge to #TackleHIV, get the nation moving, support people living with HIV and raise awareness to make positive change is aiming to raise £5,000 for Terrence Higgins Trust (THT). To get involved, simply choose an activity that gets your body moving, donate to support THT and nominate your friends and family to do the same on social media. MOVE: Get moving by taking on an activity of your choice. From walking, cycling, running, to taking on an exercise class, swimming, going for a kick about, or having a dance. Don’t forget to take a photo or video. DONATE: Donate £5 (or more) to support the work of THT and those affected by HIV. NOMINATE: Share a photo or video of yourself moving on social media and nominate up to five people to do the same, using the hashtag #TackleHIV and tag @THTorguk. All proceeds go to THT, whose mission is to empower and support people living with HIV, amplify their voices to eradicate stigma and end the transmission of HIV in the UK. £5 could pay for 20 packs of condoms for Outreach teams to provide to the public, along with advice, support and education around HIV. £15 could cover the cost of one HIV self-test kit. The sooner people know their status, the quicker they can get access to medication and support to live full and healthy lives. £150 could provide training and development for one new Positive Voices speaker - a community project where people living with HIV share their stories to raise awareness and stop stigma. £500 could pay for 50 calls to the helpline THT Direct, a valuable lifeline that helps nearly 20,000 vulnerable people each year. £5,000 could pay for 211 one-hour online counselling sessions to support people living with or affected by HIV. You can also text MOVE to 70085 to donate £5. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about THT’s work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text MOVENOINFO to 70085. Move Donate Nominate is a fundraising challenge in support of Tackle HIV's charity partner, THT. To donate, visit: D For more info on THT, visit:

While stating that you or someone in your household is the best choice of sexual partner, the new guidance includes practical advice such as sticking with one partner or as few partners as possible. It is also clear that if either person is feeling unwell, they shouldn’t have sex. Other tips include avoiding kissing, wearing a face mask and favouring positions where you’re not face-toface, as well as using condoms or dams for oral sex and rimming. There is also information on the importance of thinking about sexual health before starting to have sex again. That includes the strong recommendation of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections.

“We’re clear that abstaining from sex is the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus. But we hope by issuing this advice we will help people to manage the risks of Covid-19 while also being able to have and enjoy sex.” D The guidance is available by visiting and the free, confidential helpline THT Direct is available for any additional questions about sex and managing the risk of Covid-19. D To order a free HIV postal home test kit, visit D For more info, visit:


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just makes me happy. I do come from Biarritz, a seaside resort in the south of France.”

The newly refurbished New Steine Hotel in the heart of Kemptown is a boutique

What’s an average day like? “My average day is made up of 12 hours. I normally start with a New Steine breakfast and run around from the moment I walk in. I check the arrivals for the day, reservations, check in, check out, concierge service and deal with the marketing and accounts in my office.”

hotel with a slick and fresh look, and a hint of French influence. This year it celebrates 20 years and to mark the occasion will be offering all guests 10% discount. Here we catch up with proprietor Hervé Guyat...

What is the biggest challenge? “To ensure that we offer consistency in service and quality; I hope we’re doing well.” Any exciting plans for the New Steine Hotel? “I’m pleased to say that the exciting plan is for my guests to discover the new look and full refurbishment I did over the winter. Of course, with the current situation it’s to carry on trading in the safest way possible.”


What do you like most about Brighton? “What I love about Brighton is the diversity. It reminds me of London when I first arrived in the 1980s. Being able to see all sorts of different looks and people from all sorts of different countries too. I also love being able to walk everywhere and live in a vibrant city. I can't imagine living anywhere else.” ) How long have you been at New Steine Hotel? We hear it’s a big anniversary... “Yes, it is a big anniversary as it is 20 years since I bought the New Steine Hotel and put the keys in the door. While I’m the proprietor of the New Steine Hotel & Bistro, my role is very hands on, from checking guests and looking after them, to serving in our French bistro or checking the rooms with our head housekeeper. I do believe it is important to keep an eye everywhere.” What do you like most about what you do? “My passion is to get to know my customers, chat with them and share my local knowledge, helping them have the best experience possible, not just with us at the hotel but in Brighton as well.” How did you get into tourism and hospitality? “My original trade was fashion/Haute Couture. I was working for Valentino in Sloane Street, London. I

moved to the hospitality industry after the Gulf War when we had fewer customers. I didn’t want to wait around. I had done a year at hotel school back in Biarritz but left to move to a fashion house in the south of France. I went full circle and back to the hospitality industry.” How has business evolved over the years? “The original New Steine only had 11 rooms and was more of a seaside B&B. As soon as I moved in, I opened the French bistro. Over the years I bought the building next door and transformed it into a boutique hotel with a bar, French bistro and conference facilities.” What’s the best thing about where you work? “I love the square where we are. It is a very special place for me. Looking at Brighton seafront everyday

If anything, what would you like to be doing as an alternative career? “To be honest, I’m lucky to be doing exactly what I love.” Apart from Brighton, where would you most like to live? “I can't imagine living anywhere else. It would be nice to be able to spend a bit more time in Biarritz where I come from and have a holiday home, but Brighton is my home to live.” E New Steine Hotel, 10–11 New Steine, Brighton BN2 1PB. For bookings / more information, email: N call: 01273 681546 D or visit:








) The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) has announced eight cities under consideration for the 2026 Gay Games XII bid process - Auckland, Brisbane, Guadalajara, Munich, San Diego, Taipei, Toronto and Valencia.

volunteers have joined the relief effort in Beirut and are working to remove debris, help set up community kitchens, and dispense emergency aid to members of the community who have been affected by the explosion.

Sean Fitzgerald, FGG co-president, said: “I’m excited to see the diversity of the locations of the bidding cities. To have representation from eight countries on four continents highlights the global impact of the Gay Games.”

) OutRight Action International, which works for the human rights of LGBTQ+ people everywhere, has launched a campaign to support Helem, Lebanon's oldest LGBTQ+ organisation, following the devastating explosion in Beirut.

Joanie Evans, FGG co-president, added: “I am very impressed with the number of cities which have bid for the 2026 Gay Games. We are thrilled at both the scale and calibre of entries all vying to host our 2026 event. In this time of worldwide ‘unpredictability’, I have more faith that our message of equality in sport and culture will continue to resonate around the world.” Primary Bid Books are due on November 1, 2020. Built upon the principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best since 1982, the FGG exists to promote equality in sport and culture. The Gay Games was conceived by Dr Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982. Subsequent Gay Games: San Francisco (1986), Vancouver (1990), New York (1994), Amsterdam (1998), Sydney (2002), Chicago (2006), Cologne (2010), Cleveland+Akron (2014) and Paris (2018).

Helem, which is based less than half a mile from the epicentre of the explosion and suffered heavy damages as a result, is working to rebuild the LGBTQ+ community centre, while also struggling to support countless LGBTQ+ people who have been affected by the explosion. Helem's staff and volunteers are also engaging in citywide relief efforts but are lacking resources to do so.

David Killian, FGG officer of site selection, said: “This is a competitive and lengthy process, and we are grateful for all of the organisations’ hard work. The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and most importantly furthering all matters of LGBTQ+ equality.”


Tarek Zeidan, executive director of Helem, said: “Helem's staff and

Gay Games XI will take place November 11-19, 2022 in Hong Kong. The Gay Games is open to all who wish to participate and has no qualifying standards. Registration will open in Q2 of 2021. For more details, visit: D For more info, visit: T I Follow on Twitter and Instagram: @GayGames F @federationofgaygames

“The blast has left more than 300,000 individuals homeless. These funds will go towards helping secure shelter as well as to support our food distribution programme, which has benefited more than 800 individuals to date.” One hundred per cent of all funds raised will be passed on to Helem to use for the support of the LGBTQ+ community in Lebanon, the centre's relief efforts, and any other urgent needs on the ground resulting from this catastrophe.


The Gay Games is a global quadrennial sport and cultural event open to all. Over the course of the nine-day event the host city receives a boost to its economy with an injection of more than $100m, and their LGBTQ+ population receives support with the presence of approximately 12,000 participants from around the world.

Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, added: “OutRight’s mission is to work with local LGBTQ+ organisations around the world to promote LGBTQ+ equality. When crisis strikes, it is our duty and honour to do what we can to support local activists. This fund will support Helem to recover and rebuild so they can resume their work toward achieving a more equitable future for all LGBTQ+ people in Lebanon.” D If you're able to donate, visit: nt/fundraiser-helem-beirut-basedlgbtiqorganization?utm_source=German yCTban D For more info on Helem, visit:


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WWW.GSCENE.COM Although there are UK laws that protect people against discrimination, including the Equality Act, there is question that some laws that benefit LGBTQ+ people have only come into force in the UK because of EU Law. The UK government will have free rein to make its own legislation after Brexit and current laws protecting the community could sadly be compromised. In the government’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), there is also a clause that allows British courts to overturn rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In a worst-case scenario, this could cause serious problems for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

WHAT DOES BREXIT MEAN FOR THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY? University of Law comments on the future of LGBTQ+ laws post-Brexit law once Britain leaves the EU, which is a worrying thought. Taking away the Charter makes members of the LGBTQ+ community vulnerable to abuse or discrimination, purely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Although this change won’t happen overnight, as the transfer of law making from the EU to UK Parliament will be complete after the end of the transition period in 2021, new UK laws must be put in place to replace the Charter to ensure members of the LGBTQ+ community are legally protected against discrimination. To understand more about what LGBTQ+ laws will look like after Brexit, we must look at where the majority of them have come from. ) Rights for the LGBTQ+ community are expected to be compromised after Britain officially leaves the European Union (EU) on January 1, 2021, according to the University of Law (ULaw). Matthew Tomlinson, dean of the Leeds Campus at ULaw, offers insight on what Brexit means for the community, and what the current laws around LGBTQ+ issues could look like once Britain leaves the EU. Perhaps the biggest protector of LGBTQ+ rights in British law comes from the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which legally protects LGBTQ+ people against discrimination. Article 21 of the Charter outlaws any “discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation”. The Charter is the highest level of law in the EU and Article 21 legally protects the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation. However, this will cease to exist in UK

Interestingly, before the passing of the Equality Act in 2010, which legally protects people against discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, race or gender, the majority of LGBTQ+ rights in the UK came from EU Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The past has shown that the UK is somewhat behind the rest of Europe when it comes to passing LGBTQ+ laws. As recently as 1997, there were no laws protecting LGBTQ+ people in the UK. Although same-sex marriage was legalised in the UK in 2013 and came into force in 2014, this was still many years behind other European countries, including The Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Sweden (2009) and Portugal (2010). LGBTQ+ campaigners in the UK really pushed this legislation to be passed in government, but 172 MPs still voted no. This does raise the question of whether or not same-sex marriage would be legalised by the government on its own, if not pressed by campaigners. This altogether raises doubt about what LGBTQ+ laws will look like once Britain leaves the EU.

For example, a ruling by the European Court of Justice named P v S and Cornwall County Council in 1996. This landmark case took place after a trans woman was dismissed from her job after telling her employers she was undergoing gender reassignment, which led to the prohibiting of discrimination against transgender people in employment or education. The clause in the WAB says British courts can challenge and overturn an ECJ ruling, meaning the P v S and Cornwall Country ruling could be reopened and the courts may not find any violation of trans rights, meaning that the fundamental rights of the entire trans community could be compromised. Additionally, new laws could be passed by the UK government that counteract older laws, such as the Equality Act. As a new law is a more recent act of parliament, it would take precedence, which could cause more problems for the community. The UK’s membership in the EU has benefitted and strengthened protections for LGBTQ+ people, with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 21 and various laws protecting the community against discrimination in everyday life. It is certainly a worry that once we leave the EU in 2021, these rights could be lost as new laws could come into place. It's incredibly important that the laws and protection against discrimination are withheld once Brexit is complete. The government needs to ensure that once this happens, sufficient laws are in place to protect the entire LGBTQ+ community. I hope the UK government provides clarity to the community on what laws are in place to protect their rights postBrexit, as this will understandably be a huge worry at this time. D For more information, visit:



[RORY]: “To be honest that's not how it feels from within the communities. I hear members of the community talking about things that have happened to them which won't necessarily be a criminal offence, but is still hate and certainly caused harm. From my experience of working with Sussex Police as LGBTQ+ liaison officer and also a community member, people don't go to the police because they don't see anything happening. Equally the police can't do anything because it's not a crime, it's what is called a ‘hate incident’.” Do you think there's any way that we can bridge that gap? Bridging that gap is where trust and confidence will get built and people will start coming forward... “We want people to report incidents as well as crimes. People who cause incidents may go on to commit a crime against somebody. If we don't know about those incidents it's difficult to be able to know where to target our engagement, our prevention and community relations. I would encourage people to report. Knowing about incidents means that we can put greater operational presence, visible presence or whatever our operational response needs to be.” Does third-party reporting have an important role in this? “Definitely. We get a number of third-party reports now but anything which encourages reporting we're very happy to continue to develop, build and work on and any fresh ideas anybody has about that then please do feed them in, because anything which enables a person to report something they perceive as a hate crime or incident is important for us.”


NEW CHIEF CONSTABLE OF SUSSEX POLICE Jo Shiner, the new chief constable of Sussex Police, talks to Chris Gull and Rory Finn (previously a member of Sussex Police as the LGBTQ+ liaison officer). ) This article is a distillation of an hourlong conversation. These questions and answers have been paraphrased and edited for brevity.

Congratulations on your new role. You were in Kent previously and did research on hate crime. How is that experience going to inform your policy here in Sussex? “Thanks. I have had experience previously in relation to hate crimes and policing different communities and I have three priorities coming into this. The first is to protect our communities, the second is to catch criminals and the third is to deliver an outstanding service to victims, witnesses and the wider public. “Protecting communities is probably the most important one to me, where some of my experience leads me into the future. It’s more

important to prevent crimes than to investigate once they have happened, especially crimes that are very personal such as hate crime, because I see the impact that has on victims. “Over the past two years the number of reported hate crimes in Sussex rose significantly in comparison to the rest of the country.” Is it because victims haven't got the confidence to report or is it because actually there's a greater number of crimes? “I’ve been in policing for years and I’m not sure anybody has ever got to the bottom of that, but I would like to think that when we do our surveys people have the confidence to report crimes to Sussex Police and trust that we'll then act upon them.”

The trans community is reporting hideous amounts of online abuse and trolling. What support is there? “We have victim support and several charities also offer support. Online abuse is really difficult to monitor as people hide behind pseudonyms, but where we can, we'll investigate and put people in touch with victim support or other charities.” What are your top tips for how to respond to online abuse, because sometimes it doesn't feel like it's worth coming to the police. What would you do if you were experiencing that? “Well I do experience that, particularly now with a high-profile job. I’ve experienced comments in person and online about being appointed as chief. I try to take a proportionate and pragmatic approach, doing my own triage around whether it's something I really need to worry about. I think it is down to individuals because some individuals obviously take it to heart probably much more than I do. I also have what I call an ‘objective buddy’, who I trust implicitly. When I get something that appears to be more than one person who's put one comment on, I ask them to read it and tell me whether they think


there's something more serious. It’s difficult when it's directed at yourself to have that objective view beyond your visceral response.” Sometimes it's worth us all individually taking a break from social media. Just the effect it has is really harmful... “Absolutely and I’ve got much better at ignoring people and ensuring that I don't get into arguments where they're baiting me for a reply. I ignore them, block them, report them. I’ve got much better at doing that and ignoring them, but it means that those haven't been addressed from a criminal point of view. Though when you try to track those people online it's virtually impossible to identify who they are.” Anecdotally we understand that the phenomenon of chemsex parties is leading to an increase in non-consensual sex and rape within our communities and that there is an issue around reporting, with the victims often being vulnerable and young. “Absolutely, we only have anecdotal evidence and we encourage any reporting where people do think that this has been the case. There aren’t any specific figures in our data but we're looking carefully at what that picture looks like. We always recommend: don't put yourselves in a vulnerable position by ingesting anything when you don't know what it is and where it’s from, making sure that you're either buying your own drink or covering your own drink. Sensible precautions when you're in any environment with other people, particularly if you don't know them.” [RORY] “When I was working for Sussex Police I had third-party reports of sexual assaults from community partners and LGBTQ+ workers in drug and alcohol services. It was always difficult because the person doesn't remember anything so there's no evidence to lead on. It comes back to the harm minimisation approach you’ve described: Stay out of highrisk areas, go with a friend, know your limits if possible, but it's really difficult.” What is Sussex Police doing to build stronger relationships with the LGBTQ+ communities? “We've been engaging with and listening to the LGBTQ+ communities, and also trying to attract a diverse workforce. We're recruiting at the moment. we have had increases in terms of the number of LGBTQ+ officers and police staff and I really welcome that. “We also have advisory groups, the strategic independent advisory group and LGBTQ+ liaison officers. We have staff networks that are very vibrant. We have a diversity board which I chair, and we have some very difficult debates at those meetings, challenging each other to make sure that we're making progress and not just stuck in our ways. “We’ve also got our commitment to the Stonewall accreditation and we were the Public Sector South East winners this year,

and I know much of that came from feedback from communities.” [RORY]: “The world has changed in the past six months in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in the US, the BLM protests and the issues around the trans community and proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. All of these things challenge community relationships and require a real depth of understanding. Out of these events a focus has come on to the idea of ‘defunding police’, which is about diverting funds from actions which criminalise people into ways of dealing with social issues which are the perceived drivers of criminality.” What would be good ways of doing that preventative work? What is your view of restorative justice within hate crime, for instance? “For me it's about what the victim perceives by behaviour towards them and what they then want the outcome to be. Some people want people to be educated, to understand how they made them feel and I’ve seen that work really effectively, but it does have to be carefully managed and be victim led. The victim has got to want that and the perpetrator has got to be committed to doing it for the right reasons. “In the right circumstances that works, but there are other crimes that are so serious the police need to have a role in saying that there might have been previous victims, and if we don't deal with it properly there might be victims in the future. That’s where discussion, listening and understanding between police and victim and offender have to come together to make sure that we make a pragmatic and proportionate decision.”

“Prevention is about understanding what is going on in our communities and why. Then understanding how we can address the causes of some of those criminal behaviours as opposed to constantly responding to what we perceive as the symptoms” Are there things other than applying the letter of the law that Sussex Police does to repair harm and/or try to prevent criminality? “Prevention is about understanding what is going on in our communities and why. Then understanding how we can address the causes of some of those criminal behaviours as

opposed to constantly responding to what we perceive as the symptoms. The prevention teams are skilled at unpicking that. From a multi-agency point of view that prevention arm is important, and police are only one part. It’s important that we work with partners, with the charity sector and others, to do that end-to-end support for anybody who needs it.” Is there any sort of capacity within your role to feed upwards and say: “Hang on there's a problem with this law, we need to change it.” Is that within your gift? “Absolutely it's part of our role to influence policy, to look at why something is not working and then influence the changes. We work closely with Sussex MPs and through our National Police Chiefs Council as well. Different chief officers each have a strategic lead. I’ll lead on some of the policy and strategy development which will then go nationally.” Our doubly marginalised queer, trans and intersex people of colour and LGBTQ+ BAME communities are particularly concerned about Stop & Search figures. What are your thoughts around continuing use of Stop & Search within Sussex? “Stop & Search is a valuable tool for policing. It’s important that we address criminal behaviours, and on a number of occasions we do take knives. substances and other items. “If we did not have the power to stop and search we simply wouldn't take these off the streets and if we didn't take those off the streets there would be more serious violence, more stabbings and potentially more death. Stop & Search used responsibly and proportionately is a strong tool for policing, but I come back to the legitimacy of policing and trust that the public must have that we're using our powers and tools that are given to us through legislation fairly, proportionately and with legitimacy. “We do a significant amount of training and scrutiny in relation to that. I think that in policing we are at a teachable moment. We're at a moment where we should be reflecting, and shouldn't be complacent that those checks and measures of the past have always resulted in the right outcomes. “In Sussex we're doing an extensive piece of work to look at and ask different questions around some of those processes, figures and outcomes. If anybody wants to assist us by joining one of our scrutiny panels, get in contact with us because we always welcome additional members.“

MORE INFO To report a hate crime, call N 999 in an emergency or N 101 if it’s not an emergency. Follow Jo Shiner on T @CCJoShiner


forward and many people I think will need some counselling later on as they won’t have dealt with things at the time.”

THE CHANGING FACE OF DEATH People have been looking at funerals in a different light for some time now, and there are many of celebrating life in style and with dignity

“This has been very difficult for us all as funeral directors as we had to stop offering services in church, limousines and were limited to initially 10 at a service at a crematorium to 20 at the Downs Crematorium and 12 at Woodvale Crematorium and social distance between chairs or pews.

) Funerals have evolved over recent years, with a pioneering generation of funeral directors – including those within the LGBTQ+ community – focusing on fulfilling the wishes of the deceased and their survivors beyond the constraints of tradition.

“Because of the restrictions quite a few families had direct cremations with no service, no family present and just the funeral director taking the coffin to the crematorium and family choosing to have a celebration of life service at a later date when the restrictions have been lifted.”

There’s also been a shift from mainly religious services “to more celebrants and humanists” says Chris Sarson, who helped Gscene founder and editor James Ledward plan his own funeral service last year. He has seen many

changes in his 34 years in the business, having started out on a Youth Training scheme earning £17.50 a week. “The changes over the years are due to more choice, more funeral directors, the choice of services we offer and prices. More people call for a quote and in these troubling times more people do not have the finances for such an elaborate funeral,” says Chris, who works at Jefferies Funeral Directors. Of course, the pandemic has had a devastating effect, not least on the way that people have been able to grieve their lost loved ones. “The grieving process has changed over the past four months,” says Chris, “with families not being able to arrange funerals face to face. Having to register a death over the phone and all the usual things they would be doing, like going to a florist, put on hold. These are all part of the grieving and moving


Many people now see funerals more as a celebration of life and have specific requests regarding their send-offs, whether that be the use of a rainbow-decorated hearse, having a family member taking the service themselves, or choosing an unusual ‘urn’ – such as a glass dildo – for their ashes.


Chris adds: “The most considerable change has been family not being able to visit the chapel of rest to see a relative who has died of Covid. Families had been unable to visit relatives with Covid in nursing homes, hospitals and hospices and then could not see them after they died to say a final goodbye.

His sentiments are echoed by Cara Mair, founder of Brighton’s Arka Original Funerals, who says at times the situation felt “unbearable” not just for the family and friends of the deceased but also for staff, who are very hands-on and often help people wash and dress the body. She too has witnessed great change since she first began working in an industry that was a “closed shop” with strict rules and didn’t necessarily work to fulfil the wishes of those who came to them. “Funeral directors are now not seen as the person who knows best but rather as facilitators in allowing you to know what to do.

“The grieving process has changed over the past four months with families not being able to arrange funerals face to face... These are all part of the grieving and moving forward and many people I think will need some counselling later on as they won’t have dealt with things at the time”



He says it has been the most trying time of his career, with the pandemic changing how funeral directors look after families from the start. From seeing clients face to face there had to be a move to arranging funerals on the phone or via Facetime. At one point only two family members were allowed in to make arrangements, “often with face masks, hand sanitiser and social distancing in all the rooms and then wiping tables, chairs and door handles after they leave”.



chapel for the funeral of an elderly man which involved them just listening to his vinyl 78rpm record collection on an old gramophone player. Chris recounts some unlikely requests: “Being naked in the coffin ‘like the day he was born’ – come into the world with nothing and then go out with nothing. Going 100mph down the motorway in the hearse with a coffin on board (at his request). These days nothing is bizarre as they can even tattoo ashes into your skin. As long as it’s legal we will do what we can to fulfil all your wishes.”

“It’s very hard at a time someone has died - you get bombarded with questions and forms to fill in and you miss just being asked if you want to come and spend some time with the body, for example” Many more people are having ceremonies that they put together themselves with help from us or celebrants.” (Chris says that “funerals have evolved into a vastly different event. I say event as like a wedding planner we are funeral planners.”) Cara credits the internet with having been a major driver of change as it allows people to access information about what they could and couldn’t do in terms of funerals, which led to the rise in the number of funeral companies which are “more encompassing” for people. “It’s such an important process,” she adds. Among the things people may discover when researching funerals is that there are many alternatives to traditional coffins and urns – not all as unlikely as the glass one mentioned earlier. There are cardboard coffins and woven baskets; shrouds made of the deceased’s own bedclothes, for example; biodegradable urns in a variety of forms and even ‘dissolvable in water’ urns. Arka also invites people to be involved in the funerals of their loved ones in creative ways, such as helping to weave the willow for a coffin. “We are very supportive and empowering,” says Cara. “We recognise the struggles that people have had in their lives and we don’t

want them to struggle in death. If people come to us we hope they know they will get support and be listened to. We don’t just have one meeting. It’s very hard at a time someone has died - you get bombarded with questions and forms to fill in and you miss just being asked if you want to come and spend some time with the body, for example.” She adds that there is still a lot of work to be done looking at end of life care. “It’s not talked about as much as it could be. It should be talked about in schools, as part of social studies, – we should look at how society supports death, what a cremation is, what burial is. There’s a lot to do. “Every death is different and every death is sad, whether it’s someone living a long, full life, or dying young and tragically. If the ceremony reflects their life there will be laughter as well as tears for what’s been lost. You can’t not be sad or heartbroken. You have to just go with it.” But there are plenty of moments of levity to be had when the service reflects the life of the individual, and funeral directors have no shortage of funny and heartwarming stories. Cara recounts the time a therapy cockatiel attended a service, sang along to one of the songs then started shouting “Hello! Hello!” Then there was the gathering of a group in the

Of course, funeral directors have their own bereavements to deal with, often being asked to make arrangements for friends and family. For Chris: “It was a privilege to look after my dear friend James Ledward, who arranged his own funeral with me before he passed away. Knowing he had the funeral he wanted brings me peace of mind and his family. “One of the most difficult moments was looking after my dear mum when she passed away suddenly with a stroke in 2007, I embalmed and dressed her and in a way it was nice for me as she brought me in to the world and I took her out the world.” But there are also events which impact for other reasons. “It’s difficult to pinpoint the most memorable service as they all are in their own way. I do remember being involved with the funerals of a couple of Hillsborough football tragedy funerals, which will remain in my mind forever,” says Chris. For Cara, not being allowed to tend to her great aunt on her death was particularly saddening. “[My cousins] wouldn’t let me look after her body although I had looked after her in life. It can really help in the process of grief.” As many have found, planning ahead is a good idea to make sure people get to go out in the style they want, even though it’s not something that’s easy to dwell on.



GRIEF ENCOUNTERS At a time when so many people are experiencing loss of one kind or another – a loved one, personal freedom, access to friends and family – Jaq Bayles talks to some of the people involved in Switchboard’s Grief Encounters bereavement peer support group

Set up last year, Grief Encounters receives funding from the Brighton Rainbow Fund and, rather than being a counselling body, is run as a facilitated peer support group over six weeks. One of those facilitators is Jackie Engelberg, who was instrumental in creating the model and getting the word out to LGBTQ+ organisations in Brighton. “When we have had a loss we need to find the strength and resources to help ourselves and others,” she says. “We can share our stories with other


“It’s a difficult topic and a challenging one. Our aim is to facilitate people to support each other”

LGBTQ+ people who might have experienced similar rejections, so that’s empowering and supportive.” Currently on hold for obvious reasons, Grief Encounters was run at Possibility Place and began with a series of meetings for interested people to ensure the group was right for them. “That process of meetings is very important,” says Jackie. “People needed to know what they were coming to, what expectations there were and what they wanted from it. It’s a difficult topic and a challenging one.

about feelings,” says Natalie. “Everyone around me was grieving. Karen was a big personality. She became ill and died in a very short space of time. Everyone was devastated and I felt I could not grieve for myself. I needed a space where it could be just for me.” The meeting proved useful for Natalie, who had thought the group might be more aimed at people whose bereavement had been a longer time ago, but she was given assurances that the process was to ensure she was ready for the group work.

“Our aim is to facilitate people to support each other. We held the space and ensured the boundaries, offering experience and support rather than the power of the therapist or counsellor.” Among those taking part in the original Grief Encounters was Natalie Collins, whose wife, Karen, died in December 2018, just three months before the first group was held. The couple had been together been together for 14 years and married for three. “I saw the advert for Grief Encounters about six weeks after Karen died. I had been a therapist so I knew the advantage of talking


) When it comes to bereavement, members of the LGBTQ+ community often find themselves up against challenging circumstances that exacerbate the grieving process. Whether a lack of acknowledgement by family members, feelings of being invisible when it comes to making arrangements or not having their role or relationship properly recognised by health care professionals, these issues can lead to a sense of isolation not likely to be experienced in the wider community. It stands to reason, then, that a group such as Switchboard’s Grief Encounters should exist to provide dedicated support for bereaved LGBTQ+ people.

“Everyone was devastated and I felt I could not grieve for myself. I needed a space where it could be just for me” “They handled it really well and I felt quite safe. It started with eight people and a couple did drop out after the first session. I felt it was well held, we all got talking quite quickly and really listened to each other. “The two facilitators did just that – they didn’t have to say much because we just got on with it. We all had something to say and were heard. It was exactly what I needed.” She says that the loss of Karen had had major impact on so many people – “my family and hers, although her sister, brother and mother live in Canada. Her dad and stepmum live close by and joined us every day we were at the Martlets, so we grew dependent on each other, we were supporting each other.” Natalie says: “Going in with a group of strangers, everyone was there for themselves and could hear everyone else’s stories of grief. We didn’t have to be careful around each other.


“With friends I’m still working on building a network and I don’t want to talk to them about it because it’s sad.

“We are group animals in a way. I was expecting it to be a safe place and I needed a place that was outside family and friends where I could just talk about Karen to someone who didn’t know her. When talking to friends and family they have their own experience and I needed to talk about my experience of her. “I would encourage others to do it. It’s a good experience, but might not be for everyone. I don’t know if the people who dropped out were looking for answers but there are no answers – you have to go through it and grieve.” Joining the second Grief Encounters group was Charlie Temperton, who was finding it difficult to process the loss of their grandma and specifically wanted to be part of an LGBTQ-friendly group as they didn’t want to feel “othered or the odd one out”. Being already in weekly therapy, Charlie was concerned they might be seen to be taking up a place that could have gone to someone who hadn’t got that support, but that was not the case. “I felt welcome. It was definitely good to meet the others before going into a group with them. It was a unique experience, really powerful to sit with other people and their grief. I was having the sessions a couple of hours after therapy. I could not break through and cry in sessions, so that made me feel a bit bottled up and tense. Historically I find it difficult to be emotional in front of other people.

“Doing it with strangers was difficult but gave me a time on a certain day that allowed me to sit with my grief and to hear from other people about being gay and losing partners, which is horrific, but helps me feel part of a community and is very powerful. “If it had been longer I might have been able to push through that barrier of feeling more comfortable. But also it was so intense.

While Grief Encounters may be on hold, the team is “keeping the ball rolling” with Grief Meets, a topic-based Zoom group providing a “dedicated, confidential and supportive space to explore experiences of grief and loss” through topics such as creative writing, drawing and self-care. During lockdown it didn’t seem safe or viable to try to organise a Grief Encounters-style group who had never met before to engage in intensive grief work over Zoom, says Jackie, but these topic-based drop-in sessions have proved popular. The next one involves creative writing and is in collaboration with New Writing South, which is sharing funding in order for this to take place. It will be led by experienced LGBTQ+ practitioners Maria Jastrzębska and Dinos Aristidou (see full details of session times below). D

GRIEF MEETS BY SWITCHBOARD & NEW WRITING SOUTH Grief Meets is described as “a dedicated, confidential and supportive space to explore experiences of grief and loss through writing. Being creative, letting words flow without any judgment or resistance gives us the chance to express ourselves, to navigate through grief and to try to make sense of our experiences. You will be gently guided to put pen to paper to find ways to translate grief into a form that can help you heal, as well as offer comfort to others”.

(Cinnamon Press/Liquorice Fish, 2018). The Cedars of Walpole Park, her selected poems, were translated and published in Poland (Stoważyszenie Żywych Poetów, 2015). She is the writer for the Snow Q collaborative project and has taught creative writing to community groups, refugees, LGBTQ+ projects and the Poetry School.

The course will use a variety of creative writing exercises and reflective activities to unlock inspiration and provide different perspectives on experiences. No previous writing experience is required. These sessions will be led by the following experienced LGBTQ+ practitioners. Maria Jastrzębska was born in Poland and came to the UK as a child. She was the coeditor of Queer In Brighton (New Writing South, 2014). Her most recent collection is The True Story of Cowboy Hat & Ingénue

“I really appreciated the facilitation and being allowed to have long silences. The facilitator would help the group to help each other draw things out.

Dinos Aristidou has written and directed for the stage in the UK and overseas. He was writer-in-residence at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton 2017-18 and has written for the Nuffield, Southampton, Contact in Manchester and two commissions for Forest Forge Theatre Company. He is creative learning director for UCAN Productions, working with blind and partially sighted performers and is working with Birmingham Royal Ballet developing an empowerment programme for young people.

MORE INFO D Grief Meets sessions will take place on


“My family all live the same way down along the coast and I am the only one who moved away. I felt quite alienated from them. Even the idea I am in therapy is alien to them. When I told my aunt I was going to a grief group she was saying: ‘Are you still upset about that?’

“It made me realise how important it is to spend time thinking about my grief and not just pushing it away and thinking it’s okay.”



“It made me realise how important it is to spend time thinking about my grief and not just pushing it away and thinking it’s okay”

Mondays from 6.30-8.30pm in October on 12 and 26, and in November on 9 and 23, 2020. Sessions are free but places must be booked in advance. D For more info and to book, visit:


Sometimes when you’re feeling really low you don’t think you can help anybody else and finding that you are doing so can be really empowering.” A lot of LGBTQ+ people are already isolated, and that word has taken on a different meaning in the pandemic, but many don’t have anyone to talk to “in any depth or meaning”. MindOut’s counselling service, which is up to 12 weeks, “can be really useful for bereavement”, says Helen, helping people to understand how their life has changed, to cope with the loss. Losing somebody often brings up other losses, she adds. “Someone close to you dies and that can bring up grief about other people you lost a long time ago.

BEREAVEMENT AND MENTAL HEALTH MindOut’s Helen Jones discusses the possible impacts of loss on people’s mental wellbeing with Jaq Bayles ) Loss of a loved one can have a huge impact on mental health, and this can be further exacerbated for LGBTQ+ people if they lose a partner and their relationship had not been acknowledged or had caused rifts in a family.

It’s not unheard of for partners to be excluded from the mourning process by a family who didn’t accept the relationship, and this constitutes another loss in its own right. This is just one possible scenario that may impact on the mental health of LGBTQ+ people experiencing bereavement and, as MindOut chief executive Helen Jones points out, bereavement is not just about death but many accompanying losses. “For some people, on top of the grief, it might be about what they had to give up, what they weren’t able to do,” she says. “Older people who were not supported to explore their gender identity and now it’s too late. People who had to be closeted in particular professions and the weight they have carried because they couldn’t be ‘out’ at work. “Then there are the people who have been outed at work and there have been some very sad stories.” Helen recounts the story of a man who had a very good career in the services, fell in love with a fellow serviceman only to be outed and forced to resign, following which the man he was in love with took his own life. “It was years ago and a product of its time, but he’s still living with that sort of loss – the loss of a loved one and a possible future

with them and also the loss of a career.” MindOut offers a raft of information and advocacy services for people who have been bereaved, as well as peer support groups and counselling services. The advocacy service helps LGBTQ+ people with both emotional and mental health and practicalities. Helen says: “If somebody is dealing with bereavement they might want help to talk to their GP, for example, and our advocacy service is designed to help with negotiating with other services. “It could be practical things to do with property or income or pensions – all the legal and other implications of a death, especially if there’s an existing mental health issue. Advocacy can help a lot.” When it comes to peer support groups, she says they are “a great way to meet other people who are struggling in similar ways, whether that’s in the circumstances or the effect it’s had on them”. Helen continues: “It might be really helpful to speak to someone else who is suffering in the same way. Peer support groups are incredibly helpful because, as well as getting support, you offer other people support.

“Also, sometimes people come for counselling about one thing and actually find it’s about bereavement. Counselling can take you somewhere you weren’t necessarily expecting.” Now being run online, the service is low cost and has a “fairly short waiting list”, whereas the NHS wait is 18 weeks. “People often wait quite a long time before asking for help,” says Helen. “It may be something to do with stigma, putting a brave face on it. When people do ask for help and support the quicker you can respond to that the better. “The fact is that a lot of people do come to us because they are concerned about other services not being LGBTQ+ affirmative.” And while NHS services are clinically driven, MindOut’s counselling takes a different approach and is more about the person working with themselves. Grief is a complex issue and one that can bring up surprising emotions. It’s said that there are five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – and that’s an awful lot to process. “We don’t talk about death enough,” concludes Helen. “Most of us wander around thinking we are immune. “Years ago we ran a death café in partnership with Switchboard. The idea is not that you go along to explore your grief but to explore your own attitudes towards death and how you can prepare best for the inevitable. We make a lot of assumptions, particularly that it’s only old people who will die.”


“Peer support groups are incredibly helpful because, as well as getting support, you offer other people support Sometimes when you’re feeling really low you don’t think you can help anybody else and finding that you are doing so can be really empowering”


A POSITIVE JOURNEY Lunch Positive’s Gary Pargeter has lost many people during his life, but explains why he wouldn’t change a thing about knowing, loving, and being with people as they faced the end of their lives. Some groups of people have had to face a level of deaths that most in their demographic would never expect to see. Among them are gay men who grew up during the Aids epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, when a diagnosis of HIV was often considered “a death sentence”.

but I had to rethink my life. I tried to continue to work but the demands were too great to do that and be there for my partner, so I gave up the job and focused on Gary, which I don’t regret.”

Gary and his partner – 11 years older and also called Gary – had been in a long-term monogamous relationship and hadn’t felt the need to be tested, but when the older Gary’s health began to rapidly deteriorate, the couple decided to take the ‘Aids test’, as it was then called, together.

GARY, 1986

It was June of 1992 and, given how Gary had seen his partner deteriorate, he felt it was a “foregone conclusion” that if he got a positive diagnosis Gary would too. The worst proved true and Gary found himself suddenly having to realign his priorities. “When we got the diagnosis my whole focus was on Gary as he was so unwell. I had a lot to look forward to



Many faced fear alone, without the scope of support available today, or they were supporting others at a time they themselves were unwell, fearful, and contemplating death.

He says the deaths of his partners and friends were all very different and some very difficult, but “it was really important I was there in the end, not just in terms of giving myself to the people I loved, but in terms of coping going forwards knowing I had gone through the whole process and fulfilled their wishes so I felt no sense of guilt or regret.”

At that time very little was known about HIV and Aids and there was no treatment giving a proven change of prognosis. The older Gary’s health deteriorated rapidly – he had ‘Aids dementia’ and died within a year of diagnosis at the age of just 36, with Gary at his side.

One of those men is Lunch Positive founder and manager Gary Pargeter, who was diagnosed HIV positive at the age of 25 and lost three partners and countless close friends to the disease. Yet his journey through loss has also been one of positivity and learning. In those days, of course, there were not the treatments available that there are today and not only were gay men facing the horror of the disease, they were also the subject of stigma and homophobia at the very time when they were experiencing greater social and sexual liberation.

“The most meaningful thing I could be doing was what was right for them, rather than what was right for me. That wasn’t through any kind of martyrdom, it was about working out the perspective of where you are in the scheme of things.”

A second partner, with whom Gary had enjoyed three very happy and adventurous years, died in 1996, and a third in 2007. Gary was with each of them at the time of their deaths, at their requests, and in each case he found himself the one delivering the news that they were going to die. “What do you say to someone you love very much when they ask if they are going to die? Honouring our love and relationship, I could not bring myself to not tell the truth.”

“What do you say to someone you love very much when they ask if they are going to die?” Gary had been out on the scene since his teens and says by the time he was in his 30s most of his friends had either died or were no longer on the scene because their health had deteriorated. “I was in good health,” he says. “I had a few minor ailments but no Aidsdefining illness. All my focus was on staying as well as I could, trying to be happy and comfortable and enjoying time with the people around me.

Gary continues that he felt fortunate to be in Brighton and around many people who, despite having a worse prognosis than his, were being “very kind and considerate of each other”. He adds: “For some people, of course, it was awful and they were extremely frightened. But Brighton was and still is a place where there’s a general approach of looking out for one another.” The city’s HIV resources were not unsubstantial and Gary was able to access talking therapies throughout his 20s and 30s. “Over the years I matured and had time to reflect so I was able to cope better, to the point when, in 2007 in preparation for my then-partner’s death, I felt much more in control of the plan and what I should be doing.” While Gary admits to having had his “dark moments” when “life has felt very tough”, his overarching approach is: “I feel so privileged to have known all the people I have. While it upsets and angers me when people didn’t get the chance to live full lives, you have to accept the reality. I am fortunate to be able to take away some really happy memories. I wouldn’t change a thing, the people I’ve met and lost have had the deepest impact on my life. I’d rather have known and felt the pain of loss, than not known them at all. “I’d rather HIV wasn’t a disease that existed, but I wouldn’t turn back the clock on any of those life-changing experiences, the acquaintances, friendships and loves that I’ve gained as a result of it.”


The death of Whitehawk girl Maria Colwell in 1973 brought the issue of child abuse into the public consciousness for the first time and resulted in radical changes in the law and social care policies. The murder of Brighton teacher Jane Longhurst in 2003 led to the creation of a new law to make possession of ‘violent and extreme pornography’ a criminal offence. The unsolved murders of Moulsecoomb schoolgirls Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows in 1986 became one of the prime examples cited in the successful campaign to have the 800-year-old double jeopardy law revoked in 2006. This led to the conviction of their murderer Russell Bishop – found ‘not guilty’ of the killings in 1987 – in 2018. And which city is the leading contender for the Banana Skin Award? Yes, you’ve guessed it… step forward Brighton & Hove, where people are more likely to die in road crashes, falls and accidental poisonings than almost anywhere else in England, according to figures released in March 2012 by the Public Health Observatory. The last outbreak in Britain of once-deadly infectious disease smallpox (now eradicated worldwide) occurred in Brighton in the winter of 1950/51. Emergency vaccination centres were opened and, by the end of the outbreak in February, 85,918 people had been vaccinated. The cast of Mother Goose at the Theatre Royal, including Beryl Reid, were quarantined and then had to queue for vaccinations, ‘principals first’.

DEATH AND THE CITY Sussex-based author, performer and playwright (among other talents) Rose Collis here updates the intro to her fascinating book about Brighton & Hove’s relationship with death to reflect the impact of Covid-19 on the city ) In his diary, the writer JR Ackerley noted a quote from Sophocles’s Antigone: ‘We have only a little time to please the living, but all eternity to love the dead’.

clergy, chosen hymns and secular music, picked out coffins, selected crematoria, collected ashes, given eulogies and even sang solo at a funeral.

He died the next day.

Over the years, my research has borne out what I had long suspected: that Brighton is a perfect microcosm of the British national experience of death, in all its forms. Hence, my book, published in 2013. Brighton teems with innumerable idiosyncrasies and uncanny landmarks that have had a profound effect on both the national consciousness and history.

That, for me, sums up what death brings: sadness, tragedy, irony and, occasionally, gallows humour. Ten years ago, it occurred to me that, while I had only attended four weddings in my life, I had been to a disproportionately high number of funerals and memorials – the first when I was just seven. And since my early 30s, I’ve been involved with almost everything to do with funerals: written obituaries, registered deaths, collected hospital paperwork (in the UK and abroad), chosen and liaised with undertakers and

You doubt me? Well… The first person ever to die in a car crash was from Brighton: in 1898, 42-year-old Henry Lindfield. Until recently, Brighton & Hove had the highest number of suicides in England and Wales.

And some of this might sound a tad familiar: the National Union of Teachers, the Crusader Insurance Company and the National Union of Journalists all cancelled their conferences in Brighton. Local football and rugby fixtures were also cancelled. A Brighton printing company had an order of 3,000 programmes for a boxing tournament at the Albert Hall cancelled at proof stage. Funeral directors refused to handle the bodies of the smallpox fatalities; a café in Chichester put up a sign saying ‘Visitors from Brighton not welcome’ and staff on trains from Victoria shouted ‘All aboard the Plague Special’. The first cases of HIV/Aids in Brighton were diagnosed in 1982, and the first reported death (the 45th in the UK) came two years later. In the next 25 years, 482 people in the town died from the condition, the majority of them gay men. Aids is particularly significant in our history because it was the first time in Britain that a disease was used as a weapon with which

“A café in Chichester put up a sign saying ‘Visitors from Brighton not welcome’ and staff on trains from Victoria shouted ‘All aboard the Plague Special’”

to attack, vilify and stigmatise a so-called ‘minority’ section of society. And a very effective weapon it was, too – engendering bigotry and hatred, and leading to unnecessary deaths from lack of state provision for treatment, research and social care. Instead, the government spent £20 million on a 1987 TV and leaflet campaign – the famous ‘tombstone’ image that did much to engender panic, and little to educate and prevent. By 1992, 5% of deaths from infectious diseases in the 25-44 age group were caused by Aids; 93% of those who died were under 50. By 1984, there were 2,500 recorded cases in the UK. But, trust me, as I watched a seemingly never-ending procession of gay male friends, colleagues and acquaintances succumb to the ravages of the virus in that era, those figures felt much higher.




And there has evolved, for me, a sense of déjà vu in the current pandemic – that it is those who have either contracted it, or known people who have, who are the most concerned about it. If they haven’t – nah, not so much: it’s just an inconvenient hindrance to shopping and social habits. To date, four people I know have contracted it: none of them in care homes, and three under 60. Only two have lived to tell the tale – one of those who did not was our own dear David Harvey. And, almost inevitably, it was in Brighton & Hove that the only public memorial in the UK to those lost to Covid-19

has appeared: the tribute made out of stones which appeared on Hove Lawns in July which spelled out ‘44,602’ – the number of our fellow citizens in the UK lost by that date. Spain had nine days of official mourning for its Covid fatalities. I am not holding my breath for this country to do the same. But I will not forget them.

MORE INFO ) Death And The City by Rose Collis is available as a POD paperback and Kindle book from D For more info about Rose, visit:


GENERATION COVID University graduate Rachel Badham reflects on what the pandemic has taken from young people and how the LGBTQ+ community in particular has suffered ) As a student, I pictured the defining event of 2020 to be graduating university. For other young people, this year might have been characterised by starting university, entering employment, or simply enjoying the summer months with friends and family. However, as my social media feeds have become flooded with photos captioned ‘the closest I’ll get to a real graduation picture’, or ‘first time seeing my partner after three months in lockdown’, it has become painfully evident that the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in life-altering changes and losses for young people across the globe.

I had never considered the fragility of my own life and, like many people my age, I find that youth comes with a sense of invincibility. Yet, as I spoke to friends who were afraid to leave their homes and who began to worry about their health, I realised that I too perhaps had reason to be concerned. Young people with existing health conditions or compromised immune systems were, almost overnight, left with no choice but to self-isolate or risk exposure. Even healthy young people such as myself were presented with a risk that we didn’t expect to collectively face as a generation. Headlines such as The Independent’s ‘Coronavirus: 12-year-old among latest confirmed deaths as England’s hospital tally almost outstrips Spain’s total fatalities’ topped some of the most harrowing news stories of 2020 due to the disbelief that young lives had become so vulnerable during these new and frightening conditions. In the early months of the pandemic, an Express headline branded coronavirus ‘terrifying’ due to the fact that ‘young, healthy people’ were at risk as well as the elderly. The pandemic has not just caused loss of life in the younger generations, but has led to a new awareness, and with that a new fear, of our own mortality. One of the most widespread effects of the pandemic in young people has been loneliness and emotional distress, as we have

suddenly lost the social life and daily structure that we once had. I, along with many fellow students and friends, support the lockdown and believe it’s essential for reducing the impacts of the virus, but we have also found that it has taken a toll on our mental health. While the young generation has often been subject to criticism for heavy reliance on technological devices and social media, my experience – and that of the majority of people my age who I’ve spoken to throughout the lockdown period – is that virtual contact could not possibly replace socialising face to face, and many have been left feeling isolated as they lack human connection. Loneliness does not equate to the seriousness of losing a life due to Covid-19, but the consequences of isolation on someone’s mental wellbeing may be life-threatening, particularly when the national lockdown has reduced the ability of mental health services to provide resources for those in need. Loneliness is affecting all age groups during the pandemic, but for university students who are generally accustomed to a highly social style of living, the sudden loss of interaction has been challenging for many.

“Loneliness is affecting all age groups during the pandemic, but for university students, who are generally accustomed to a highly social style of living, the sudden loss of interaction has been challenging” Young LGBTQ+ people have also been hit particularly hard, as their access to supportive communities has been limited. With recent studies – including The Link Between LGBTQ-Supportive Communities, Progressive Political Climate, And Suicidality Among Sexual Minority Adolescents In Canada, published in Preventive Medicine – demonstrating that young queer people are less likely to suffer mental health problems when in a supportive environment, many are now lacking access to essential wellbeing resources.

The Trevor Project’s National Survey On LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health 2020 also demonstrated that nearly half of LGBTQ+ youth have engaged in self-harm within the past year, 60% of whom were gender non-conforming young people. Queer people’s mental wellbeing is already vulnerable and, as leading mental health charity Mind has tracked a decline in people’s ability to access vital services during the lockdown, it’s the young LGBTQ+ community who have been some of the most affected. I’m thankful that the lockdown period didn’t dramatically affect my mental health, however as a young queer person the pandemic has brought a sense of disappointment as summer Pride events were cancelled across the globe. In 2018 and 2019, Brighton & Hove Pride was one of the highlights of my summer and an event where I felt a great sense of community. These cancellations, combined with the loss of my graduation ceremony, meant that my opportunities to not only be proud of my academic accomplishments, but to be proud of my identity were no more; a loss felt by both university graduates and LGBTQ+ young people alike.

Now one of the biggest burdens the younger generation faces is the challenge of how we will adapt to this ‘new normal’, and how we will recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Like many other students, the pandemic left me concerned about the availability of graduate jobs and, on a broader scale, a large proportion of the younger generation has struggled financially during this period, with the BBC reporting the number of young people on benefits doubling during lockdown. What is for sure is that the young generation has faced social and economic losses that no one expected to contend with in 2020. As I mourn the loss of my graduation ceremony and of Brighton & Hove Pride, I can only imagine the sorrow felt by those who’ve lost jobs, loved ones, and any sense of stability and hope in this time.

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FIVE REASONS TO MAKE A WILL 1 To appoint one or more people you trust to administer your estate (known as executors); 2 To provide for an unmarried partner, who wouldn’t otherwise inherit if you did not leave a legally valid Will; 3 To appoint a person or persons to look after your children (known as guardians); 4 To ensure that your personal possessions, such as family heirlooms or items of sentimental value, are inherited by those you would wish to receive them; 5 To ensure that your pets are looked after.

single ‘right’ time to make a Will, but it is something that should be considered regularly – even if you already have a valid Will in place, you should review the terms of your Will on a regular basis to ensure it is still an accurate reflection of your wishes.

SHOULD I MAKE A WILL? Phil Hodges, of Lings Solicitors, offers some advice on the importance of getting your affairs in order ) I know this is not the most exciting thing you’ll ever read, and maybe the last thing on your mind, but the fact is, no one knows what your wishes are without a Will.

A Will is a legal document, which sets out who will inherit your estate after your death. If you have a partner or a close friend or relative who has some indication of your wishes and you feel that’s enough for them to deal with your affairs on your death, then this couldn’t be further from the truth. A Will is the only way to ensure your wishes are legally binding. Even if you are clear to your friends and family what you would want to happen, that doesn’t necessarily hold any legal weight unless you put it in a Will. Your estate can be more exposed to potential disputes when there is nothing legally drawn up by a professional to ensure a) everything is legal, and b) the advice is independent without any inferences of undue influence. Many people consider making a Will when they reach certain ‘milestones’ in life, such as buying their first house, tying the knot, having children, or retirement. I am approached by people at varying stages of life who have decided to make a Will to ensure that their affairs are in order to reduce the burden on their loved ones when they have gone, and everywhere in between. The truth is there isn’t a

As part of the Will writing process, the team at Lings Solicitors can also advise on the most tax-efficient way to distribute your assets. Inheritance tax is often referred to as the ‘optional tax’ as, with proper planning, the inheritance tax liability could be significantly reduced or even completely eliminated. If you die without a valid Will then the law dictates who will receive your estate, known as the ‘intestacy rules’. These rules are very strict and do not make any allowances for your individual circumstances. More recently, with the growing number of couples choosing not to marry or enter into a Civil Partnership, there has been strong criticism of the intestacy rules for not allowing any provision to be made for surviving cohabitees. Although there have been calls for reform over the years no changes have yet been implemented. You can prepare your own Will, however be cautious when using a DIY at-home Will kit or standard template, as these ‘one-size-fits-all’ documents do not take into consideration your individual needs and circumstances, and could mean that your estate is not distributed in the way you had intended or vital inheritance tax reliefs are missed. Your Will could be one of the most important documents you ever sign, so it is essential that it is right for you and your loved ones. Often the reason for putting off making a Will is that it can seem a daunting task. My team at Lings Solicitors are legally qualified with years of training to advise you, and as a legal firm we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to ensure high standards to protect you. We are praised by our clients for making the process friendly and straightforward. We endeavour to use simple, jargon-free language wherever possible and take the time to make sure our clients understand all the options available and help them to make the best decision for them. We have even been told that we have made the Will writing process a ‘pleasure’. Now wasn’t that a fun read? Tell your friends and family - they may be thanking you one day.

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If you would like to discuss making a Will or any other legal matter our team will be happy to help. To contact them: N call: 01903 700303 E or email: D or visit:

Lings Solicitors offer a range of other legal services including: • Powers of Attorney • Deputyship and Statutory Wills • Trusts • Estate Administration • Lease Extensions • Residential property • Commercial property • Landlord & Tenant


everything I do is perfectly normal, I’m not going crazy. That’s good to know. I cry, I yell and scream every day (invariably on my own). Professional therapists tell me that crying is an essential part of the grieving process, although breaking down on the bus is embarrassing. But in extreme grief, tears will come with no warning, there’s nothing you can do – simply let it happen and let other people think what they like. It’s like a large black cloud that suddenly appears, drifts over your head and then goes. My dreams are vivid, always featuring Michael, and when I wake I’ve forgotten what’s happened and I think he’s gone to make the morning tea. Then I remember.

LOSING THE ONE YOU LOVE Roger Wheeler’s personal account of bereavement ) No one likes talking about death – but we should, as confronting one’s own mortality is a good thing and there’s no avoiding it. The death of a lover is possibly one of the hardest things anyone can experience. Everyone is different, we all handle such catastrophic events in our own way and there’s no guide book. My wonderful husband, Michael, died suddenly in my arms – there was no warning and he was just 44 and perfectly fit. Without being too dramatic, my life ended in a heartbeat. Our lives were so intertwined that not only had I lost the only man I had ever loved but also a part of me. After nearly 18 years of real happiness there’s nothing, I’m alone.

How did we meet? A question I’ve been asked many times.

Back in the early part of 2003, in the bad old days of Gaydar, I was innocently looking around when a young Irishman popped his head above the parapet and said “Hi”. He turned out to be one of life’s exceptional men, although I didn’t know that at the time. Some weeks later we met in Dublin – he lived in Galway and cheekily bought himself a ticket on my flight home, not knowing how well we would get on. If it hadn’t gone well he would have simply thrown the ticket away. He liked Brighton, so after a few months moved over. Michael Wall – quite simply one of life’s

brightest, most charming, intelligent, handsome and wonderful people anyone could wish for. We fell hopelessly in love, eventually, and settled into domestic bliss. We got Civil Partnered in 2006 and upgraded to marriage in 2014, happiness forever. Meeting him changed my life forever. Some years later he was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, the result of childhood abuse and professional homophobia. Over the next few years he became very anxious and depressed but we continued with our happy, almost idyllic life and were managing his condition, changing jobs a few times but developing some skills that were very much in demand. Then August 9, 2019 happened. A day I will never forget, nor do I really want to. Grief is almost an illness, one from which you will never recover. You feel totally lost, life suddenly has no meaning. I wonder why I’m bothering with anything, there’s no one to share my thoughts with, prepare meals for and do all the thousands of small things that as a couple I happily did. Initially, friends I never knew I had called to express their concern. I got many cards expressing deepest sympathy. These I couldn’t open as all their lovely words do is bring the whole sad affair back into sharp focus. I’m a long way from accepting the fact that my wonderful Michael is no longer here. I have his photos all over the house – I kiss them every day – and his ashes are in a beautiful box in the sitting room. Every cupboard and drawer I open brings memories of him, his clothes remain exactly where he left them, and nothing is to be changed in the house. I don’t care if people think it’s odd, no one comes round in any case. Of course I talk to him all the time, telling him what I’m doing, where I’m going etc, but I’m reassured that

Hundreds turned up for his funeral, former colleagues I’d never met. It seems that everyone who came into contact with him was somehow affected, everyone loved him. Some of Michael’s Irish family were there. They’d never bothered to keep in touch after he came to Brighton, but his youngest sister did say to me that I’d given him the one thing he’d never had – love. Hard to believe, but I know it’s true; his father’s ‘love’ was not of the kind you would normally expect between a father and son. It was something from which he never fully recovered. I have never heard from any of them again. That catastrophic event of August 9, 2019 was followed a few weeks later by the death of James Ledward; I lose my husband/lover and one of my oldest friends in quick succession. I know about grief. One of the first lessons I learned is that I’ll never recover from Michael’s death. My doctors have advised that my feeling of extreme sadness could last five or more years. I’m reminded that Queen Victoria experienced grief for over 30 years after the death of Prince Albert. I was told not to expect to feel better after a few months – I don’t. In fact, for me, each day is worse than the last. After a few weeks the phone stopped ringing, all those friends seemed to disappear. The reason is simple – as a couple we were an attractive, fun addition to any party or social gathering. Suddenly I’m a single, sad, lonely man who bursts into tears at a moment’s notice. Who wants that at a dinner party? Some of my oldest ‘friends’ turned out not to be. I received several quite nasty phone calls, too painful to recount, but a very close friend said just one word – ‘jealousy’. I had achieved something that they had never experienced.



“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love you want to give, but cannot”

I was, and still am, vulnerable and easily hurt. Many neighbours and casual acquaintances are very fond of issuing vague invitations, meaning it when they say it but instantly forgetting. So this very sad man suddenly thinks ‘great they’ve asked me over’ when in fact they were just being polite having no intention of actually issuing specific time and date. That hurts. One of the worse things is the complete lack of human contact; obviously no one will ever physically touch me but it would be nice to actually talk to someone, but they don’t know what to say, so avoid talking. I realised just how much I had relied on my husband. Michael did all the household maintenance, I know I can do it, but he enjoyed working on the house and garden. He mended, repaired, painted, re-wired and established a fantastic tool room, which I was almost forbidden to enter. When visitors were due he’d clean the house from top to bottom; today I hardly bother. I’ve become quite lazy, not like me at all. But as there’s no one here, apart from me, who cares if it’s a little untidy? Yes, occasionally I do take a deep breath and start the dishwasher and washing machine, but ironing? Michael was a high-flying data protection officer so had to have clean shirts

etc every day. I regarded it as my job to see that everything was in order. He could iron his shirts, of course, but it was just one of those things I enjoyed doing for him. I cooked dinner every night, but now I’ve lost interest in food. It took many weeks before I could be bothered to cook a meal. Also I didn’t drink for about 12 weeks after he died. I do now, but am very aware that I must keep it under control. Alcohol is a depressive and I’m told that I’m suffering from reactive depression. This can also last for many years but I’m told that it will eventually lift. I was told to distract myself, so I joined a gym. Healthy, yes, but then I got too enthusiastic and now have to slow down. I’m also tired all the time, simply due to stress. I didn’t realise I was stressed, but apparently I am. Sleep can also be a problem; my doctor prescribed a very mild sedative, but only for a short time. It worked, but now I rely on simple herbal tea, which seems to work too. The time between his death, his funeral and the weeks after dealing with the endless bureaucracy has become a blur; I have very little recollection of anything. Suddenly it was a lonely Christmas and now it’s summer again and a year has passed. The pandemic and its associated problems have passed me by. All I can think about is how I’ve lived for 12 months without him; it seems impossible. That’s my story to date, life is not good, in fact life is hell, and there’s no pleasure in anything. I miss Michael more every day and of course still love him, I always will, true love never dies. I don’t want anyone else in my life. People laugh and say “never say

never”, they’ve never experienced the love of a truly wonderful man, but without any doubt I can say never. I’m now really quite old, I don’t want anyone else in my life. Michael is with me, in my heart and in my head. I rarely think of anyone else. Several very spiritual friends tell me that Michael is with me; whether this is true or not, I do feel his presence. The human brain tells you what you believe. It’s true I’m a sad man. But there’s a good reason for my sadness. No one will ever know how I feel, no one can, and everyone is different. On the anniversary of his death I was persuaded to invite some close friends for drinks and supper, it was an evening of mixed emotions with toasts and lovely words being spoken. One of my closest friends said he would have completely approved and they actually felt that he was there with us. No one I know can fully understand and appreciate my feeling, I know of no one who has had this experience. Friends comment that they know and understand, they really don’t, why should they? They’ve never had this experience. When someone you love dies, it changes your life forever. It’s not something you ‘get over’ as the loss becomes part of you. You have to learn to handle your new life and pretend to the world that you’re fine; it’s all an act you can get good at, until you come home to the empty house. Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with nowhere to go. But I hang on to it, that and my memories of course. Memories are just memories, but they’re all I have.


ICONIC QUEERS History is littered with personalities. It’s through them that we learn about our past. We praise individuals in our communities for their pioneering work, often doing well in their field of expertise and in some cases while living their authentic selves. Two such persons who lived in Brighton and Sussex were Gluck and Edward Carpenter. Both are celebrated for their personal achievements as well as for living out lives during a time when to do so was in some cases illegal, and certainly not in keeping with contemporary opinion. Rory Finn looks back on their lives

) It’s easy to think that some ideas and identities are new, dreamt up by the latest generation of queer people to grace our scene. Non-binary is a term that has grown in usage in the past few years and increasing numbers of people are identifying as such. Notable examples include Sam Smith and Jack Munroe. But as a concept it’s nothing new and genders that don’t fit into the traditional notions of male and female have been around for as long as we have.

Gluck was a gender non-conforming British painter (1895-1978). Named Hannah Gluckstein at birth, and born into a wealthy family, Gluck was privileged to have the resources to pursue a life of their own. They received money in trust at the age of 21 and put themselves through art school in London from 1913 for three years. After that, Gluck moved to Cornwall to join an artists’ colony in Lamorna. However, Gluck didn’t want to be

As a lesbian icon to us all decades later, Gluck was known for having relationships with women. Their relationship with American socialite Nesta Obermer is depicted in the 1937 painting Medallion, named such because of a single object with two faces. Gluck referred to this as the YouWe portrait. This painting is perhaps one of the most recognisable and famous depictions of a queer lesbian relationship, having most notably featured as the cover image for Radclyffe Hall’s 1928

part of any particular art movement, and would prefer to feature their art in solo exhibitions. During their time at Lamorna, Gluck began curating themselves in a way that defied contemporary gender norms and fashion. They are presented in paintings by their contemporaries and in photos as smoking a pipe, wearing masculine style and clothing and pursuing relationships with women. The world of art scholarship will often use the feminine pronoun ‘she’ in reference to Gluck. In this piece we refer to Gluck as ‘they’. We do not know for sure how Gluck would have identified themselves, had they been living now, with the explosion in people coming out as non-binary and using the singular gender neutral pronoun, they/them, it’s quite possible that Gluck would have done the same. Gluck insisted on “no prefix, suffix, or quotes” and didn’t want to be titled, choosing to use only a shortening of their surname as their name. A famous example of the strength



of feeling Gluck had on this issue is when an art society, of which Gluck was vice president no less, referred to them on a letterhead as “Miss Gluck”. Gluck resigned.

lesbian novel, The Well Of Loneliness, which follows the life of an upper-class woman called Stephen Gordon. The novel portrays queerness as natural, that we are born this way and pleads: “Give us also the right to our existence.” Gluck’s work is often exhibited as celebrations of queer love. Radical at the time, and perhaps still radical for some people to this day, that our genitalia should not define us. Gluck died in Steyning, Sussex, aged 82.


Edward Carpenter ) Edward Carpenter perhaps wouldn’t look out of place in modern Brighton. He was a gay rights activist, vegetarian, and pro animal rights. However, he was born a hundred years too early for the city we inhabit now, coming into the world in 1844. Carpenter’s family home was 45 Brunswick Square, Hove. He was educated at Brighton College, enjoyed playing piano and horse riding on the Downs and as a young man he discovered he "felt a friendly attraction towards my own sex, and this developed after the age of puberty into a passionate sense of love”.

Carpenter’s exploration of gay sexuality led him into a close friendship, which had a “touch of romance,” with Edward Anthony Beck, whom he met at Cambridge. But this didn’t stop him from joining the Church of England as a curate after university. He experienced an increasing sense of dissatisfaction in the years that followed, with both the Church and university, and what he saw as Victorian hypocrisy. He found comfort



history project which collated a broad range of voices and contributions from individuals, many of whom have made Brighton & Hove the city people continue to see as having ‘streets paved in gay gold’. Just by existing here in the way we do makes this city iconic. 2014 saw the publication of another oral history project Brighton Trans*formed (Queenspark Books), which explored the lives of trans people in the city. Groundbreaking in itself for portraying trans people as happy, part of a vibrant and diverse community, just as the western world was experiencing its ‘trans tipping point’ and Caitlyn Jenner burst out of the trans closet on to the cover of Vanity Fair.

in the works of American poet Walt Whitman, which caused him to feel “a profound change”. After he left the Church, Carpenter moved to northern England to be part of the University Extension Movement, which introduced higher education to deprived areas of the country. He became increasingly interested in socialism and his political ideas have formed the basis of the British Labour movement. He particularly wanted to expand education to the working classes. It was during this time he found he had particular attraction to manual workers; "the grimy and oil-besmeared figure of a stoker" or "the thick-thighed hot coarsefleshed young bricklayer with a strap around his waist". In 1891 he met George Merrill, a workingclass man from Sheffield who was 22 years his junior. They began co-habiting a few years later and this relationship endured until Merrill died suddenly in 1928. What is perhaps extraordinary is that this was of the era of Oscar Wilde’s trial, which saw him imprisoned in 1895 for homosexuality. Carpenter was a solid socialist and believer in social justice. He saw his homosexuality as not merely a state of being but a way to change society for the better. In his 1908 work, The Intermediate Sex, he remarked: “Eros is a great leveller. Perhaps the true Democracy rests, more firmly than anywhere else, on a sentiment which easily passes the bounds of class and caste, and unites in the closest affection the most estranged ranks of society. It is noticeable how often Uranians of good position and breeding are drawn to rougher types, as of manual workers, and frequently very permanent alliances grow up in this way, which although not publicly acknowledged have a decided influence on social institutions, customs and political tendencies.” Carpenter died a year after Merrill and was interred in the same grave. His unabashed

writing inspired the likes of DH Lawrence to write Lady Chatterley’s Lover as well as inspiring countless other peers of his time, by celebrating the homosexual condition as “a force in human evolution”. He is remembered by some as the "gay godfather of the British left".

Unsung iconic queers ) But what about the rest of us? It’s frustrating that any cursory glance at the past reveals mainly privileged, white, upper and middle-class individuals. There’s nothing wrong with being that in and of itself, but it has the effect of rendering everyone else invisible. History is written by the victors and those with authority have the power to shape the interpretation of it through their own lens. I would like to dedicate the rest of this feature to thinking about the unsung iconic queers. They say it takes a village to raise a child (who will later become a queer icon), so who is in this village of ours?

Reading through the archives of Brighton Ourstory has been fascinating. The project started in 1989 and ran for over 20 years, chronicling what it could of LGB history in the city, with biographies like Carpenter’s to titbits that illustrate what life was like for lesbian and gay people in the city. This tradition has been continued in other projects, such as Queer In Brighton, an oral

We must record our lives for future generations or else they can easily get lost in the mists of time or the dominant culture. One method is for communities to come together and create zines, webpages, and now Instagram feeds. QTIPOC Narratives produced a zine and you can follow them on Instagram (details below). At time of writing, Brighton Museum should be reopening in September, but you can revisit some of the exhibitions online until then, including zines produced by the Queer On The Pier project, the stories behind the outfits in Queer Looks.




wasn’t any chance to give them a last goodbye. People were basically disappearing. That’s the right word when you die without leaving a body or any other trace of yourself. No coffins covered in flowers, no eulogies, no goodbyes. Nothing but the memory of you remains. And if the only ones who remember you disappear as well, it’s almost like you never existed. One case in particular occurred in Italy (again) when, after the death of a transsexual woman, newspapers used her male birth name, still refusing to give her proper female pronouns and the name chosen during her transition. Her new identity was erased, like it didn’t exist.

HOW THE BELIEFS OF OTHERS AFFECT OUR LIVES Fabio Dragotta looks at how doctrine can impact on communities ) A few weeks ago in Lizzano, Italy, Don Giuseppe Zito, parish priest of San Nicola Church, started preaching during his sermon against a bill recently proposed to the Italian Parliament to protect the LGBTQ+ community from violence and prejudice. Considering it a menace to the expression of a legitimate opinion and to the traditional family, he gathered a group of followers with leaflets to pray and “defend it from the pitfalls that threaten it, including the bill against homotransphobia”.

Apparently nowadays Church has become political, probably for fear of the consequences for all the lies it keeps telling about LGBTQ+ people. If this bill is a threat, what about more than nine centuries of oppression, killings and public shaming of homosexual and transgender people led by the Church? How much of this do we still have to endure? Conveying this kind of message during mass, often attended by an impressionable audience, is like creating propaganda against our community. The peak that day came when a group of people who were against that priest’s ‘opinion’ gathered in front of the church with banners and rainbow flags in a peaceful protest and were stopped by the police as if they were the ones on the wrong side of the barricade or were breaking some law. But what law? Or better, whose law? Religion is something in which people seek comfort and haven, but it can also be a cage with golden bars. Some spend their entire existence under the influence of a greater power, and that’s okay as long as their

convictions are not imposed on other people’s lives. With all the pressures and limitations we’re under in this difficult time, can the beliefs of others become a barrier to our freedom? When we are young and still discovering our true selves, living in families with deeprooted ideas about homosexuality can lead us to self-loathing, internalised homophobia and suicidal thoughts. Given we are often forced to attend religious gatherings of some kind from childhood, it’s sometimes really difficult to get out of that mental prison in which people’s ideology can confine us. Some of us grew up in a time when homosexuals dying from Aids were refused funeral ceremonies in church by priests who considered them victims of God’s wrath. The Gay Plague, they called it, despite homosexuals not being the only ones affected by it. This also led to a vision of HIV+ people being ones to watch out for, creating stigma inside our own community. Another ‘plague’ is currently going on. Many lives have been changed and taken during this global pandemic. And since, until a few weeks ago, it wasn’t even possible to arrange funerals for the victims of Covid-19, there

These things often happen when the families of the departed don’t allow friends and partners to be involved in planning and attending their loved one’s funeral. The LGBTQ+ community has been a section of those affected by the pandemic, and still is, in different ways. I wonder how many have been left out of the mourning process, not only for prevention reasons, but as another form of rejection. In these cases, the beliefs of others prevail over us. Throughout this horrifying scenario, clergymen all around the world did not take a step back. Through the words of some of them it was stated that Covid-19 was a “sign from God” and a "divine punishment against homosexuality”. Little did they know that, weeks later, ironically, some of them would have been infected or died from Covid-19 themselves. The UK is surely a step ahead in recognising LGBTQ+ rights, but there are cases in which stigma remains anyway. When will this injustice stop? Confined within four walls, our reality has changed in recent months. We started seeing things in a different way, as if death is always there, lurking, waiting to catch us. The danger is practically in the air we breathe and it’s so easy to surrender we can’t even fight back. When we are defeated, we depart for another world – or at least for those who believe in such things. But some beliefs - religious or not - are still hard to defeat. In reality, ignorance is always lurking, ready to attack. Someone once said: “Your liberty to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.” With all that’s happening in the world, now more than ever these words are so true.

“The LGBTQ+ community has been a section of those affected by the pandemic, and still is, in different ways. I wonder how many have been left out of the mourning process, not only for prevention reasons, but as another form of rejection. In these cases, the beliefs of others prevail over us.”


NAUTILUS LOUNGE E 129-130 St James's Street, Brighton BN2 1TH ) Open: Fri, Sat & Sun, 7pm-2am; Mon, 7pm-midnight D F @NautilusLounge ) Steven Lee and the crew from Subline Brighton are

embarking on a new venture with the launch of Nautilus Lounge, a new venue in the heart of Kemptown. Expect a warm welcome and relaxed atmosphere, with a selection of the best cocktails, a fine choice of wines and fizz, premium spirits and beers, and some decent grown-up soft drinks, as well as all the standards. Full drink menus will be published on the bar website and orders will be placed with a crew member so you can sit back and relax. As for events, Nautilus Lounge is excited to have Ian Sinclair donning his quizmaster hat again; and now the Quiz will be every Monday. Beyond that, it’s anticipating the chance to welcome back Club Silencio, and to extend the range of theatre, music, and cabaret, though safety prevents this in the launch period. Steven Lee, owner, says: “You'll descend from St James' Street and below the waves into the luxurious lounge or cosy crew quarters, each a comfortable inclusive space. Nautilus Lounge will be seated throughout and fully waiter served, which alongside social distancing and thorough cleaning routines helps to keep the venue as Covid-safe as possible.” The Nautilus Lounge crew will be doing all they can to reduce risks and transmission of Covid-19, so spaces are limited, and reservations will be available by messaging on Facebook. As the regulations currently stand Nautilus Lounge can accept groups of up to six people from a maximum of two households (bubbles permitted). On arrival Nautilus Lounge will comply with tracking advice and require one responsible person from each party to sign in via a text message, and after that they'll do all the hard work.









SEPTEMBER 2020 We’ve all missed our LGBTQ+ venues, which have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most of them have now returned, bringing the heart back to LGBTQ+ Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton and Crawley, so here’s a round-up of what you can expect and what they have planned to make your visit as comfortable and safe as possible.


E 129 St James’ Street, Brighton BN2 1TH N Tel: 01273 567935 F @ AffinityGayBar ) Open from 12pm every day. ) Drink deals: 2 cocktails for £12 on Friday, choose

from Tequila Sunrise, Long Island Iced Tea, Porn Star Martini, Margarita or Woo Woo. Affinity Bar says: “Whether you fancy a Porn Star Martini or a Margarita these cocktails will delight.” Cabaret on Saturday at 8.30pm; double cabaret on Sunday at 6pm & 9pm. Affinity Bar adds: “Join us at Affinity Bar and enjoy air-conditioned comfort, fabulous cocktails, a wide selection of sprits and cool beers served up by our friendly, attentive bartenders.”


E 11-12 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TL N Tel: 01273 670976 D F @ amsterdambarbrighton ) Now offering table service for drinks and

delicious food, including Sunday roasts. Stick around on Sunday to catch some of the scene’s top cabaret acts performing from 5.30pm. Bookings for cabaret and food/drinks recommended.












E 7 Pegler Way, Crawley, RH11 7AG D F @ Bar7Crawley ) The heart of LGBTQ+ Crawley is open every

Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 7pm till late with Lounge Bar and table service only. Bar 7 says: “We add style and glamour to our Covid cleaning routine. If she’s not on her knees, she’s on the table, over the chairs and taking extra precautions to keep you and our staff safe. Please support your local LGBTQ+ venue.”



) Broadway Jukebox is back for you to request your

ual booths and table service, ready and waiting for you to get your glad rags on! Pop down for Sunday Funday, beat those new-week blues at Glitter Ball with Sam Pink and Pete the Meat on Monday, or kick the weekend off in style at Transvolve on Friday, where the camp is turned up to the max! All New Bulldog says: “There’s no karaoke at the mo but still paint that face! Heel up and #getinvolvedsue for a fun filled night in the heart of gay Brighton!”

E 10 Steine Street, Brighton BN2 1TE N Tel: 01273 609777 F @ barbroadwayuk D

fave showtunes and songs from films and TV all week. Fancy yourself as a brain box? Thursday is The Rossy Wossy Quiz at 8pm. See Facebook page for full guidelines. Before you visit check the new ‘appless app’ (just need browser) to make your visit effortless while remaining safe. It allows customers to book a table, pre-order and pay for drinks from the table, contact members of staff, virtually queue for the toilet and call a taxi.


E 31 St James's Street, Brighton BN2 1RF N Tel: 01273 696996 F @ BulldogBrighton ) Now open with a Covid-19 secure venue, individ-










BEDFORD TAVERN E 30 Western Street, Brighton BN1 2PG N Tel: 01273 739495 F @ BedfordTavernBrighton ) Bar is still closed but keep checking their

Facebook for updates. Adam and Team Bedford say: “We’re desperate to get our Bedford family back together in our beloved Beddy, but we have a duty of care to our fabulous staff and customers. Implementing social distancing within such an intimate venue will be challenging. We hope to be able to see you soon. Lots of love.”


E 30-31 Camelford Street, Brighton BN2 1TQ N Tel: 01273 622386 F @ TheCamelfordArms I @camelfordarms D email D ) Now open for food and drinks from 12–8pm,

including award-winning Sunday roasts from 12pm. Bookings not necessary but recommended if eating - email or message on Facebook or Instagram. Get your thinking cap on for Ben’s Quiz on Thursday from 8pm.


E 8 Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 1TA N Tel: 01273 624091 F @ CharlesStreetTap D ) Check the new menu of small plates, stone-baked

pizzas, burgers, mains, sub sandwiches, sides and desserts: Order food and drink direct to your table via new crafty app Thursday from 8pm is free We Love Quiz with prizes on the night in the pub and a national cash prize pot up to £1,500 each night. Go to for details. To book a table, contact the bar.












) Open Wednesday to Sunday from 8pm with

) The Fallen Angel is thrilled to announce it will

E Compton Walk, Southampton, SO14 0BH N Tel: 023 8036 6163 E FTI @ EdgeBoxSoton

free entry, cocktail pitchers from £8 and tunes all night! No booking required but arrive early to avoid disappointment or email in advance. For house rules, check their Facebook page. Wednesday - Bar 150 returns from 10pm with house singles, Jägerbombs or bottle of Becks £1.50, bottle of house spirit £40.

E 24 Grafton Street, Brighton BN2 1AQ E F @ FallenAngelBrighton I @ fallen_angel_brighton/

be reopening on Friday, September 4 from 3pm. Keep checking Facebook for updates or send an email for more info. Fallen Angel team say: “Check FB and Insta for updates. See you all very soon... Lots of love.”


E 16 Western Street, Brighton BN1 2PG N Tel: 01273 438587 F @ ) Open daily from 1–11pm.

Friday and Saturday cabaret has returned with the scene’s top acts on the Grosvenor stage from 9.30pm. Limited space so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Call ahead to book a seat (tables of four or less only).











E Hampshire Terrace, Portsmouth PO1 2QN N Tel: 023 9229 7509 F @ HBnightclub D ) Bar now open with full table service, refurbished

décor and covered terrace: Sun 5pm–1am, Wed & Thur 7pm–1am, Fri & Sat 7pm–3am, closed Mon & Tue. Drinks: half price drinks at the Monday Club, 7–11pm; pitcher of Fosters or Strongbow £15 on Thursday, Cherry’s Bingo with cash prizes every Thursday from 8pm. DJs spinning top tunes on Friday & Saturday from 7pm. If you’ve missed your cabaret queens, then hop over to the HB for Sunday Social Cabaret from 6pm.



) The bar and terrace now open with great food


E 31-34 Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 1TR N Tel: 01273 624462 F @ LegendsBrighton D

available till 5pm; bar open till very late. Frank's fantastic Sunday roasts, including his tasty vegetarian special, are back: 12.30-4pm. Call ahead to book your table. The hotel is also open, and you can book via website or on Facebook by clicking Book Now. Swing round on Friday and Saturday to catch DJ Patch spinning a great background soundtrack from 10pm. Legends says: “Join us at Legends bar and our subterranean lounge; a unique, sexy, and gorgeous space that perfectly complements our bar above.”

E 13 Broad Street, Brighton BN2 1TJ F @ marinetavernbrighton ) The bar is now open daily from 12pm–1am.

E 129 St James's Street, Brighton BN2 1TH D F @ NautilusLounge ) Open 7pm–2am Fri, Sat & Sun, and 7pm–midnight

on Mon. Expect a warm and relaxed atmosphere, the best cocktails, wines, fizz, premium spirits, beers, grown-up soft drinks. Monday Quiz with Ian Sinclair. Steven Lee, said: “The pre-pre-opening was more successful than I'd dared hope. We really enjoyed it, and the guests did too! Limited space means we recommend reserving a table - just message the page and we look forward to welcoming you!”













) Now open Monday–Wednesday & Friday 5–

) Open from 12pm for food, drinks and

) Revenge Bar is open with table service indoors

E 4 Belmont, Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3TF N Tel: 01273 328682 F @Railway-Club-Brighton-129870610360892

10pm, Thursday 11am–10pm, Saturday 3–9pm, closed Sunday. Please note: Where only a few members, or no members are present in the evening, the bar and club may close early. Railway Club Brighton says: “Our Retired Section is now back on Thursday so if you’re lost for what to do why not pop along? We are also restarting the bonus ball and tote. Tote starts off at £30, if not won it goes up by £30 a week till it’s won, and it only costs 50p to have a go!”

E 32/34 Russell Square, Brighton BN1 2EF N Tel: 01273 325652 F @ trtbrighton D

entertainment including: Saturday cabaret at 9pm: Lucinda Lashes (5) and Snow White Trash (12). Booking recommended. Check Facebook for full lineup. Sunday roasts served while Paul plays relaxing lounge music, call ahead to book a table. CabaRegency is back every fortnight – Friday (4) and Friday (18) from 8.30pm with host George Martin Marino and some of Sussex Performing Arts community's biggest names. Regency Tavern say: “The intimate, breath-taking cabaret night featuring audiences who can never believe what they're hearing.”

E 32-34 Old Steine, Brighton BN1 1EL N Tel: 01273 606064 F @ RevengeBrighton D

and a takeaway service if you want to avoid the supermarkets and grab a bevvy! No advanced table bookings; first come, first served. You'll also be greeted by a GORG resident drag hosts who will be your maître d' for a camp ol' welcome to the bar; Lydia L’Scabies, Daphne, Tayris Mongardi and Rob From Finance. ) Revenge Club isn’t open yet but Powder Room

events are chalked in the calendar for later in the year. Check Facebook for full line-up.












) Velvet Jacks is now open with table service

) Now open with full cocktail menu served from

inside, or you can take your drink outside, but social distancing means there’s no drinking at the bar. Jackie says: “Please stay one metre apart, even when you’re tipsy. And be nice. It's all we have right now.”

newly kitted out bar, a stunning beer garden with heaters and drag hosts at the weekend. Booking not necessary but call ahead to avoid disappointment. Le Village says: “Hey Villagers! Don't forget we have a lovely evening planned for you all. Our new cocktail bar is ready! We have a huge selection of drinks for you.” Keep an eye on Le Village’s Facebook for their new food menu, launching soon.

E 50-52 Norfolk Square, Brighton BN1 2PA N Tel: 07720 661290 F @velvetjacksbrighton

E 2/3 High Street, Brighton BN2 1RP N Tel: 01273 676075 F @ thevillagekemptown


E 33 St James's Street, Brighton BN2 1RF F @ ) No definite date yet for the Zone reopening but

keep checking the Zone Facebook page for up to date information about what they’re up to. The Zone says: “We are working hard to make everything safe before we reopen and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.”



) Foraged Wood Pastry Brush, £13 (Workshop, 13a Prince Albert Street, Brighton, 01273 731340)


) THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (Eureka bluray). German expressionist director Paul Leni’s adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel is a masterpiece. In terms of imagery it’s certainly superior to the cycle of Universal horror pictures which were to follow in its footsteps. Early on a small child, his face permanently disfigured to make him a circus freak, wanders through a nightmarish landscape of corpses swinging from gallows; it’s terrifying and strangely poetic while conveying a small child’s abandonment. The adult Gwynplaine (Conrad Veidt) is still touring 17th century England, where he falls in love with another performer (Mary Philbin), yet this love is in danger of being thwarted by the machinations of the Queen’s evil jester, Barkilphedro (Brandon Hurst). The plot is melodramatic nonsense, but the style and the film’s performances - Veidt manages to convey absolute suffering despite his face carved into a ghoulish grin, and Hurst is magnetically creepy - make this an absolute must.

) New! Pentyl Aromas, £12 each or three for £30 (Prowler, 112-113 St James's Street, Brighton, 01273 603813)

) BUSTER KEATON: 3 FILMS (VOL 3) (Eureka blu-ray). Another volume of silent comedy genius: Our Hospitality has Buster, the innocent young man, caught up in a deadly feud. The only way he can escape being shot is by making himself a permanent guest in the home of his would-be assassins. Go West has Buster abandoning city life to life on an Arizona ranch and mixes deadpan darkness with some of silent cinema’s greatest comic set pieces. In College: Keaton is a nerd whose sweetheart ditches him for an athlete – determined to win her back he enters college hoping to excel at sports despite having two left feet...

) Orla Kiely Planter, £19.99 (England at Home, 22b Ship Street, Brighton, 01273 205544)

) Brighton Beard Company Canvas Toiletry Bag, £15 (Hold, 14 Bond Street, Brighton)

) Bamboo Picnic Bowl, £9.50 (Dowse, 27 Gloucester Road, Brighton)

) ‘Barbara’ Utensil Pot, £37.50 (Pussy, 3a Kensington Gardens, Brighton, 01273 604861)


TURN BACK THE PAGES Gscene has been published every month for over 27 years, and is a rich chronicle of the history of our LGBTQ+ communities, in and around Brighton & Hove. Chris Gull raids the archives…

£23,482.49 had been raised in the buckets (Ed: 15p per person in the park). Sussex Police confirmed there were 39 arrests at the event. Seven arrests for assault, six for theft and 17 for drug offences. Pride campers at the Pride Camp Site at the Waterhall Playing Fields were attacked on Friday night shortly after midnight. A group of youths yielding baseball bats attacked campers in their tents. That’s the end of the 2010 Pride news… Here’s James Ledward’s editorial. You cannot stop people coming to a free event. We are told this year’s Pride attracted the largest ever number of people to the park, the largest number of straight people that is. Groups of young straight boys carrying cases of alcohol roamed the park taking advantage of what has become for them the replacement to the former Southern FM Party On The Park.

gagged round the mouth, carrying black coffins to protest about the countries where homosexuality still carries the death penalty. Generally, the content of the parade was disappointing.

) As you would expect, our September trawl

through the archives once again features Prides of the past and gives us a chance to compare reactions to Pride 2010 and Pride 2015. Regular readers will know that Pride 2010 was still free, still unfenced, still failing to raise money for local charities, let alone covering its own costs. In 2015 the ‘new’ (current) organisers of Pride staged their third event.

SEPTEMBER 2010 SUN SHINES ON BRIGHTON PRIDE ) Despite storm clouds early on the morning of Pride, the sun shone for most of this year’s event. Thousands gathered on Madeira Drive to cheer the parade led by officers from the Gay Police Association. Floats included entries from American Express, The Co-Op and Nandos. Voluntary sector organisations represented included the Brighton Gay Men's Chorus, THT, the Sussex Beacon, Allsorts, MindOut and Brighton LGBT Switchboard. Other entries included walking tableaux from the NHS Hospital Trust, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, firemen and women from East Sussex, Hampshire and Kent Fire Brigades, the Royal Air Force and the Green Party. There were 55 floats in all on the parade. The theme of this year’s parade was Pride & No Prejudice. Some entries had a strong political and social message including the Students’ Union entry which featured people,

Following months of speculation as to whether this year’s event would take place at all, Sussex Police estimated 160,000 people on the park over the course of the day making it the best attended Pride ever. The park this year was extensively fenced with a special community section in one half of the park and a large screen in the centre of the park rerunning the morning’s Pride parade. During the day, messages were posted on the screen from community groups and leader of the City Council, Cllr Mary Mears, to revellers on the park. Bars on the park were branded by the Camelford Arms, the Star Inn, Vavoom, Revenge, R-Bar and Girls On Top. The owners of Revenge, who hold the bars contract for the park, have agreed to split the profits from the student bar on the park between Pride and LGBT Student Union groups from the local universities. Following the party on the park, celebrations continued in St James’s Street at the Village Street Party, organised by local LGBTQ+ businesses and run at a profit. Organisers of the street party confirmed they had met their budget and hoped to be able to pay off some of last year’s debts from the surplice of income generated. St John Ambulance said it dealt with 220 casualties with 11 of these being taken to hospital. Pride announced they needed to collect £40,000 on the day to balance the budget, but The Argus revealed that this total has not been raised. As we went to press two weeks after the event, Pride revealed that

On the positive side, the community village idea worked well offering a safer quieter haven and the main attractions such as the Wild Fruit Dance Tent, Cabaret Tent, Women’s Performance and Calabash Tents drew large crowds as usual. I have to say everything else was a nightmare. The bottom half of Preston Park was at times quite simply dangerous. There were too many people squashed into a smaller fenced space than previous years. Once you were on the bottom half of the park you couldn’t get off or out quickly. Whoever agreed the layout of the park needs a good talking to. Any incident on the bottom half of Preston Park could well have ended in tragedy. Pride 2010 will be remembered as the Pride where the organisers lost the battle to re-gay the event. The event was more mainstream than ever before and had little relevance to most LGBTQ+ people I have spoken to. Yes the numbers were the largest ever but swollen by gangs of local youths. Bars in the Village reported a downturn of between 20-25% on turnover from last year, indicating less LGBTQ+ people coming into town as visitors. This is reinforced by the experience of the recognised gay-friendly hotels, many of whom had empty rooms for the weekend or only filled up on the day of Pride itself. Unheard of in the past. Pride’s traditional out of town visitors were fewer on the ground this year, many of them choosing to visit Amsterdam Pride and the Circuit Party in Barcelona. Most worrying was the lack of buckets on the park. I saw just one on my 45 minute visit to the park. I have always considered the sole role of Pride trustees was to make sure the collection of money on the park was maximised. Last year’s deficit was blamed on the rain. This year’s event had little or no rain and we were told by Pride it was the biggest and the best ever, but Pride told The Argus after the event they did not think they had collected enough money on the day to balance the books never mind to be able to give out money to our



budget will reduce. The only way those increases can be paid for is by charging more for tickets. Early indications are that this year’s Early Bird tickets scheme was abused by ticket touts who were selling those early bird tickets outside the park on the day at inflated prices. Organisers are looking at how to solve that problem next year.

voluntary sector organisations. It would be in everyone’s interest if Pride announced their current financial position before asking people to give them money for next year and consulted community groups and businesses as to their mandate to continue organising the event for next year on behalf of the community. LEGENDS FUNDRAISER 2010 ) This was the first Pride of the Brighton Rainbow Fund’s existence, and this started a proud tradition of Legends holding Brighton Rainbow Fund fundraisers every Pride Sunday. This year has been an exception due to cancellation of Pride events. Hopefully next year it can be revived. Cllr Paul Elgood, Stephen Richards aka Lola Lasagne and Matt & Reece from Legends, shake the buckets which raised £1,290.71 for the Brighton Rainbow Fund at the Legends Cabaret Benefit on Pride Sunday. The total included a personal donation of £700 from Tony Chapman, owner of Legends.

SEPTEMBER 2015 EDITORIAL ) Just three years ago, the LGBTQ+ community held its head in collective shame as the news that the charity that delivered Brighton Pride had ceased trading with debts of £280,000. In just three years the situation has been completely turned around and Brighton Pride CIC has been able to announce it has raised £100,000 for good causes from this year’s event. Pride is now finally what it should always have been, an annual fundraiser to benefit LGBTQ+/HIV community groups. This year, Pride cost more than a million pounds to stage. Too much of that money relies on ticket sales. A bad weather forecast on the weekend before Pride kills tickets sales and can put the success of the event at risk, especially its fundraising element. If you are a business the best way to show your support to Brighton Pride and your LGBTQ+ customers is by offering financial support to Pride. If you see a company flying a banner saying ‘Supporting Brighton Pride’ or

some similar phrase, go in and ask them how exactly they are supporting Brighton Pride and our fight for equality. Tell them the best way to support Brighton Pride is by making a financial contribution. Some large businesses show their support for Pride by appearing on the parade. That is wonderful, but the bottom line is that being on the Pride parade is of benefit to the businesses who are appearing, a PR opportunity and of little benefit in helping solve the problems Pride organisers encounter each year in finding the money to stage the event. I have monitored Prides in Brighton & Hove since this magazine started in 1992. Brighton Pride is a fundraiser and is the only way over the short to medium term we will be able to secure the future of LGBTQ+ and HIV organisations in the city. The event generates a fortune to all local businesses both gay and straight and everyone that benefits should be prepared to put their hands in their pockets and help with the costs of financing it. Indications are that police and possibly council costs to Pride are to rise over the next three years while at the same time the annual grant to Pride from the council's main grants

Whatever solution they find to that problem, the best way you can help secure the future of Brighton Pride in 2016 and beyond is to purchase early bird tickets as soon as they are released. This creates the working capital that gets the Pride organisation through the cold winter months when they have no income coming in and is your investment not only in the future of Brighton Pride but also the future of all the LGBTQ+/HIV organisations that are now dependent on the funds it raises each year. It’s a miracle that the fortunes of Brighton Pride have been turned round in such a short time and that has been done by the efforts of Pride Director Paul Kemp, Dulcie Weaver and a small team of highly professional people around them. For years the community and, to some extent, statutory authorities stood by and allowed successive Pride administrations to run up massive debts, in their desire to be the biggest and best Pride in the country. Community Pride does not come from being the biggest or the best, it comes from doing Pride for the right reasons. It is imperative that we never forget that Brighton Pride is a fundraiser to secure the future of LGBTQ+ and HIV organisations in the city. Buy your ticket for 2016 early and buy it with Pride. Remember, we finally have a Pride model which will guarantee the future of LGBTQ+/HIV organisations that provide effective frontline services to LGBTQ+ people in the city and by buying your ticket early, you are investing in that future.



this film. It was a labour of love for me and I was so disappointed when festivals in Philadelphia and Atlanta that planned to show it were cancelled. Of course, safety had to come first.”

negatively affects LGBTQ+ people and their relationships. To view the trailer for ìfé, visit:


) The Trans Social Club is to host free event Found in Translation ) The first Nigerian lesbian feature In Conversation, featuring artists film, titled ìfé – meaning ‘love’ in included in the Found in the Yoruba language – is due to be Translation online exhibition, on released online later this year in Wednesday, September 9 from the country, marking a milestone 7pm. Presented by Trans Creative, for LGBTQ+ cinema in Africa. The film follows the relationship between Adaora (portrayed by Cindy Amadi) and her female partner (Uzoamaka Aniunoh) as they fall in love over the course of Filip’s work looks at queer and feminist performance aesthetics and three days. theory; performative approaches to action/protest/activism in Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim directed the performance; relationship between difficulty and emotion (Affect) in film in collaboration with Equality art; technology; object and performance; and Body Politics: Performing Hub, a non-profit organisation Identity – Feminist and Queer Philosophies; transgenderism and which aims to ‘amplify the voices’ performative notions of preconceived norms of masculinity and of queer Nigerian women through the online exhibition Found in femininity. In Filip’s practice, they have been reinforcing ideas of Translation showcases 12 nonlatinx, genderqueer and affect. binary, transgender and queer visual artists from the UK and North America. Working across a range of media to address the language of gender and queer perspectives, the exhibition celebrates nonheteronormative activism and diverse masculinities, and explores the evolution of the trans and nonFilip said: “[The Walk] shows that the repealing of the Gender binary gaze. Recognition Act (2004) and reform is undemocratic, explicitly harmful to Launched as part of Trans Vegas trans lives, and has stunted the progress made on trans rights in the UK Festival, the exhibition (until during the past 15 years. The ongoing Black Lives Matter protests have Monday, February 1, 2021), features posed questions that we as allies can’t ignore regarding the wellbeing the work of Ria Brodell, Flo and safety of black transgender people, particularly black transgender Brooks, Cassils, Adham Faramawy, women. We’re seeing the government amend laws to make it more Fox Fisher, Alex J Gardner, complicated for trans people to transition and access facilities such as Ebenezer Galluzzo, Izzy Kroese, toilets and changing rooms. The performance depicts an intersectional Sade Mica, Evan Schwartz, Buzz approach to Trans Rights since ‘There is no such thing as a single-issue Slutzky and Chester Tenneson. struggle because we do not live single-issue lives’ – Audre Lorde.” digital storytelling. Pamela Adie, a Found in Translation - In For more info, follow Filip on Facebook @filipcanha prominent LGBTQ+ in Nigeria, told Conversation features a virtual Reuters there has never been a film curators' tour with Chester like ìfé before in the country, and Tenneson and Zorian Clayton, and moved to Canada at a young age DIGGING UP DOROTHY the reception to the film trailer ‘has a webinar interview and Q&A with where he founded the Toronto ) Digging Up Dorothy, a short been mad’. The official trailer has four of the participating artists, film that follows a drag queen who Queer Theatre Festival eight years already been viewed nearly 15,000 including Ria Brodell and Izzy ago. He often visits London and is stages a protest in a cemetery times on YouTube. Kroese. when she discovers the remains of itching to get back once lockdown LGBTQ+ voices are commonly Hollywood legend Judy Garland are is over. “I just want people to see censored in Nigeria as queer people going to be moved, is now are often prosecuted under a variety available on Amazon Prime UK. of laws; in 2014, legislation was Based on true events, the film’s put into place that means those in screenwriter and lead actor Darren same sex relationships may be Stewart-Jones wrote the script jailed for up to 14 years. LGBTQ+ after reading an article on Liza characters are rarely featured in D To tune in, visit Minnelli’s plans to exhume her African media, and 2018 Kenyan’s remains. film Rafiki was banned for its trans-social-club “I was all set to walk the red carpet lesbian-centric storyline. Pamela F or check: this film festival season,” says Adie believes that ìfé will help /groups/transcreativesocialgroup/ Darren, who plays drag queen Ruby change Nigerian attitudes towards E For more info, email LaRue. “Most of the festivals that queer people by illustrating that the film was accepted into are ‘love is love’ and showing how D or visit: https://found-ineither cancelled or postponed.” prejudice and homophobia Darren was born in Liverpool but



) Performance artist Filip Canha performed The Walk, a groundbreaking visual piece addressing people’s perception on trans rights, acceptance and vulnerability, in Brighton last month. It took Filip 582 hours to hand print the fabric of this costume, which had a 1950s Dior shape and featured a train 10m in length. The performance, which embodies the struggle and perseverance of trans and non-binary lives, intended to show the trans history of resilience but also sought to point out the setbacks in the decades-long struggle for self-identification.





This month I’m concentrating on one more local gallery, the Towner in Eastbourne, which has three shows to view with social distancing and safety measures in place.



) MAJAMISTY TRIO Organic (Mistyland). In complete contrast is this exquisite set from a Serbian piano trio I wish I had heard of before. The trio is led by pianist Maja Alvanović, who wrote most of the eight tracks, who plays with classical poise and a fine sense of occasion. Never rushed, she quietly lays out the main themes and their variations as if she had all the time in the world. Alongside her, bassist Ervin Malina is tuneful and independent, often walking his own path beneath the piano-led lines, his arco a resonant delight, while drummer Lav Kovač, a new member of the trio, is quietly insistent. But this is a group that plays as one, an organic whole, as the title of this strong new CD suggests. Well worth checking out: available from Bandcamp and Amazon.

) LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN: THIS WHOLE TIME THERE WERE NO LANDMINES (until Sept 18). Recently acquired by Towner. Abu Hamdan is a Turner Prize-winning artist based in Beirut whose work looks into the political effects of listening, using various kinds of audio to explore its effects on human rights and law. An eight-monitor installation with sound, that uses collected mobile phone footage from 2011 to document a ‘shouting valley’ that lies in the contested area of the Golan Heights, Syria. This stretch of land became annexed by Israel from Syria following a ceasefire in 1967 and is dubbed ‘the shouting valley’, as the area’s topography allows for an acoustic leak across the border. Subsequently, separated families have gathered on either side of the border in order to shout across the divide to each other and remain in contact.


) JAMES COPUS Dusk (Ubuntu Music). Trumpeter James Copus has been making quite a name for himself in British jazz circles in recent years, and this, his debut album, has been much awaited. He’s assembled a fine rhythm section to support him, notably drummer Jason Brown, drummer to the trumpeter of the moment, Ambrose Akinmusire. All six compositions are the leader’s, a mixture of post-bop workouts and fusion moods that reflect his devotion to Blue Note jazz, notably Freddie Hubbard, and to the current New York scene. Copus himself is a fluent, precise player whose trumpet lines are always logical, while drummer Brown is best when following his own direction and ignoring the beat. Featuring strong compositions and with some excellent playing, this debut adds up to a fine release from a trumpeter with a great future ahead of him.

Eastbourne, ALAN DAVIE AND DAVID HOCKNEY: EARLY WORKS (until Sept 20). There is still an opportunity to experience the dual presentation of Davie and Hockney’s early works exhibition. The exhibition will explore the convergence between the two major figures of post-war British painting. Organised by Hepworth Wakefield, Early Works will bring together around 45 paintings, collages and drawings by Davie and Hockney, spanning between 1948 and 1965. Early Works includes figurative works made by both artists at the start of their careers, including self-portraits produced when Hockney and Davie were both 16 years old. Selfportraits and photographs throughout the exhibition will show the development of each artist’s public persona at a time when contemporary art was becoming a central part of popular culture, with artists appearing in films, being interviewed on television and featured in the new colour Sunday supplements. Both artists cultivated distinctive looks, exploring differing but connected notions of masculinity and identity. It’s advised for visitors to purchase tickets online to receive priority access in the event of queues. Tickets can also be purchased at the Welcome Desk while in the building. They are currently not accepting cash payments, so please be prepared to pay by card if you purchase your tickets in person.

) CHRISTINE BINNIE AND JENNIFER BINNIE: ART, LIFE AND US and the Towner Collection (Sept 19-May 16, 2021). Christine Binnie and Jennifer Binnie have a long-standing connection with the Eastbourne area, their formative years spent attending Eastbourne College of Art and Design which firmly established their identities as artists. Along with Wilma Johnson, the sisters are founding members of The Neo Naturists, a performance art collective which evolved in the early 1980s in London. In this Towner exhibition, which they will curate, Christine and Jennifer will use their own work to complement pieces chosen from Towner’s Collection. Art, Life and Us will be the first Towner Collection exhibition guest-curated by artists.



) ERROLL GARNER Plays Gershwin & Kern (Mack Avenue). American pianist Erroll Garner might come across as a showman, but his piano skills were immense, particularly his ability to improvise an introduction that bore little relation to the song in hand, only to slowly reveal what the actual song was after perhaps a few minutes. He could be playful and subdued, ebullient and subtle, but he was always entertaining. This fine album, first issued in 1976 – the last to appear in his lifetime (he died in early 1977) – presents 14 fine songs from those great American songbook writers, George Gershwin and Jerome Kern. You get all the greatest hits – I Got Rhythm, A Foggy Day In London Town, Nice Work If You Can Get It – and a few lesser known pieces – Lovely To Look At, a Kern song, anyone? An unreleased Garner original – Maybe You’re The Only One – ends this set in high style.


48 GSCENE orchestral suite, which Poulenc revised for cello and piano. There are beautifully lyrical lines for the cello in the slower movements particularly, and the resonant recording and Rummel’s rich tone mental torment and disturbing give these extra warmth. They emotions. Allan is impressive follow this with Sérénade, with its throughout in the complex piano gently lilting sicilienne rhythm and accompaniments, and Williams beautifully lyrical melody. Next once again delivers the narrative comes music for the stage – music with clarity, here bringing out the to go with a play by Jean Anouilh, greater range of dramatic the comedy L’Invitation Au expression. The darker Château. This forms in effect undercurrents are brought out here another suite, for violin (Corinna too – the growing obsession in Desch), clarinet (Andreas Maud Has A Garden surely borders Schablas) and piano. The music is on stalking, and Williams’ intensity great fun, with swirling waltzes, of delivery, over the watery balletic and circus-like capers, the expressive accompaniment, is odd polka and tango thrown in, as quite disturbing. There is fragility well as snippets of a Chopin-esque in the world-weariness of the final mazurka. All three players here song, My Life Has Crept So Long, relish the lyrical melodies, balletic and it is left to the piano to leaps and luscious harmonies. introduce a more heroic style, the Flautist Ahran Kim joins for two singer almost dragged along pieces – firstly a solo, Un Joueur unwillingly to the final conclusion. De Flute Berce Les Ruines. Again, Two other short songs, A Kingdom the reverberant recording adds to By The Sea and Shepherd’s Cradle Kim’s smooth sound in this brief Song, are added to the programme but beautiful, twisting and turning here. While this disc might not melody. She follows this with convince us that Somervell is an Villanelle, for piccolo and piano, unfairly forgotten genius, the with a similarly simply lilting Maud cycle alone, and Williams melody, initially matched by a and Allan’s strong performances single piano line, then with throughout make this well worth rippling harmonies added. For the exploration. remainder of the disc, May is joined by baritone Damien Gastl, firstly for two short songs, La Souris and Nuage, and then the cycle La Travail Du Peintre, which characterises artists, including Picasso, Chagall, Klee and Miró. Gastl has a distinctive tone, and he conveys the text with precision and conviction. He is sweet at the top of his range, and he meets the challenges of the leaping vocal line in Klee well, and the ) FRANCIS POULENC Chamber mysterious Miró and weighty Music Vol 2 (Paladino pmr0068). Villon (with highly effective bellIt is always a pleasure to find new ringing piano from May) are recordings of Francis Poulenc’s strongly evocative. A fascinating (1899-1963) music, especially and impressively performed including works I’ve not come collection of some lesser-known across before. Kicking off her Poulenc here. second collection of chamber ) CECILIA MCDOWALL Everyday music, pianist Eva-Maria May is Wonders: The Girl From Aleppo joined by cellist Martin Rummel (Convivium CR054). It’s a tall for the Suite Française D’Après order to cover issues such as child Claude Gervaise. Gervaise was a refugees, disability and war in a French Renaissance composer, and cantata for children, commissioned this suite was originally an for the young singers of the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, in a way that speaks without coming across as superficial or over-worthy. But Cecilia McDowall’s (b.1951) cantata, Everyday Wonders: The

REVIEWS ) Sir ARTHUR SOMERVELL Maud and A Shropshire Lad (Somm SOMMCD0615). Sir Arthur Somervell (1863-1937) is now chiefly known for his impact on the development of English art


song, following on from his teachers Stanford and Parry. Baritone Roderick Williams, joined by pianist Susie Allan, has recorded two of his song cycles, Maud and A Shropshire Lad, settings of Tennyson and A E Housman respectively. It’s hard to avoid comparing the settings of A Shropshire Lad with those of

Vaughan Williams, Ireland, Gurney and Butterworth – but to be fair, Somervell was there first. The wistful Loveliest Of Trees is followed by the youthful sentimentality of When I Was OneAnd-Twenty, before a darker bitterness of lost love creeps in in There Pass The Careless People. There are hints of darkness in In Summertime On Bredon, as the man’s young wife dies, and a moment of fragility in the penultimate Into My Heart An Air That Kills. But The Lads In Their Hundreds, that in other hands is so poignant, here leaves one slightly uncomfortable with the final verse’s heroic blaze of glory. Williams delivers the cycle with a clear and unfussy approach, without any overdramatic sentimentality. While I’m left a little underwhelmed by Somervell’s settings here, the same cannot be said of Maud, a much more dramatic tale, full of unspoken

Girl From Aleppo, is in fact highly effective and moving, given strength by the truth of the remarkable story it tells in its five short movements. Nujeen Mustafa, a Kurdish teenager with cerebral palsy, left Aleppo and travelled, in her wheelchair, with her sister, some 3,500 miles to Germany, where she found refuge. Kevin Crossley-Holland has drawn on her biography for the cantata’s libretto. The young singers, directed by Dan Ludford-Thomas, are joined by violinist Harriet Mackenzie and pianist Claire Dunham. The work moves from the initial flight from a war-torn Aleppo, with ‘thousands milling at the border’ in the second movement, with effective whispering and chanting repetition, stamping and clapping effects, and shushing sea spray as they make the journey across water. One could easily be cynical about the sweet





welcome of the German policeman when they finally arrive safely, greeted with ‘Wilkommen! Welcome to Germany!’, but this is a powerful moment, with the piano briefly quoting Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, and the final movement’s depiction of Nujeen’s new life is very touching. The young singers perform with clear diction throughout, with tuning only a minor issue in some of the chorale sections. A powerful reminder of the power of music to involve young people and communicate strong messages – in these strange times, I only hope the opportunity for young people to get involved in such projects will return soon.

MORE INFO For more reviews, comment and events, visit: N T @nickb86uk )



) OKECHUKWU NZELU THE PRIVATE JOYS OF NNENNA MALONEY (, £16.99). I read this in one go, it bounced along with the narrative possessing me, keeping me enthralled and entertained in equal measure. What a fun read, with some seriously contemporary takes on modern UK life. The book follows protagonist Nnenna Maloney growing up into a possibly queer woman and seeking more understanding of her Igbo-Nigerian culture and of her absent father. Her searching and wanting some insight (and answers), straining her relationships with her mother Joanie. Around these two swirl a selection of warm characters, all on their own journeys of self-expression, seeking meaning in their intersectional identities. Set in present day Manchester, which forms the backdrop for Nnenna’s adventures, this northern metropolitan voice is endlessly funny. Sharply observing the contradictions of modern urban life, sharing a delighted love of the city of Manchester, and of its weirdly adorable residents, Nzelu’s voice, original and so beautifully bold, gives us insight into Nnenna’s world as she finds some answers, but unfurling more questions on race, sexuality, class and the whys and hows of belonging. The book gives a warm, deep insight into how what you are doesn't define how you can or should be, but done with wit and some redemption along the way.

) DUSTIN LANCE BLACK MAMA'S BOY (, £16.99). This, a painful, honest book about being queer, poor, different and loved, is a memoir from Dustin Lance Black - famous LGBTQ+ role model, and husband of diving champion Tom Daley. The book is also a beautiful elegy to Black’s Mormon traditional mother and to all mothers, and the power of family, honesty, understanding and accepting difference, and following your own truth. An Oscar-winning screen writer (Milk) and activist, Black examines his very humble and poor rural upbringing in Texas. It’s not a narrative you hear much

of in America, with its shiny, comfy lifestyles, but Black lets us see the struggle his mother went through to support, feed and protect her family. And to accept that they were not going to

become the straight Mormon boys she was hoping for. He’s honest about his own failings, always reassuring in a memoir, and acknowledges people who have inspired, helped and supported him. His mother comes across as a working-class heroine, full of fire and social justice and unconditional love. Finding ways through their vast difference to understand and respect the choices of her family. Elevating past variance to find connection and hope. The book made me cry, touched me with its honest approach to grief, loss and the difficulties of moving on. He holds up the real angels in his life, his brother and mother, both now dead. With a

candour, which is unsentimental but tender and embracing, tells us their, and his story. Always focused slightly off himself, showing how he stands on the shoulders of his family to become the proud, strong and remarkable humble man he is today. Black’s book resonated with me, my own poor and humble start in life, and the way that some of us are so very lucky to have mothers who have fire in their hearts and light a flame in ours. Recommended.

) KIRSTY LOGAN THINGS WE SAY IN THE DARK (, £8.99). Oh Logan, what marrow rich prose you do. This collection of stories, all crepuscular, shaded and of the dark side, are a delight. Logan reminded me of Poppy Z Brite, utterly convincing and then a sentence turns and shocks you right off the page. The book talks to us, the author is writing it as we read it, with a collection of

side notes as we move through it. Her control of the narrative is thrilling, set against domestic moments in the Icelandic retreat where it’s being composed. From creepy supernatural stories through to modern feminist fairy tales, which could have come from Angela Carter, this collection is something special. The stories examine, from a woman's perspective, themes of life, fear, flesh and violence. Mothers, children, compromise, struggle. Logan's forensic prose peeling back the skin of dreams to reveal the rawness below. The tension in them is palpable and the words slide into your imagination, uncoiling their tendrils and sending shivers through your mind. This is horror wrought quietly effective. Dreadful men get their awful comeuppance. There is no escape here.

Her use of setting and conversation in the stories draws you on, leading you down into some dark spaces. Always in control, Logan shows us the Stygian side of imagination and then leaves us there, in the cold, dank dark, alone with this writhing book. Shudder!




Media representation also became a source of great empowerment for me and is ultimately one of the driving forces that led to me being comfortable with my identity, and now proud of it. Couples such as Santana and Brittany

from Glee, and Kelly and Yorkie from Black Mirror’s San Junipero demonstrated that it was possible to have healthy and emotionally fulfilling same-sex relationships despite societal adversity. Bisexual characters Brittany and Kelly were huge sources of validation for me, as I often questioned my place in the LGBTQ+ community as a cisgender woman who wasn’t strictly attracted to women only. Songstress Hayley Kiyoko, known by her fans as ‘Lesbian Jesus’, also played a key role in my understanding of my sexuality. I stumbled on her hit song Girls Like Girls in 2015 and, like the majority of queer pop culture products from 2013-2017, it made me somewhat uncomfortable simply because I was ashamed of my emerging queer identity. However, she was the first artist I came across who produced unapologetically queer music that used female pronouns in a romantic sense and was accompanied by lesbian-centric music videos; the more of her music I heard the more empowering I found it. Hayley created music that validated my experiences as a girl who

However, in my early teens when I seriously questioned my sexuality, consuming queer pop culture became a source of discomfort, and maybe even shame for me. I had developed confusing feelings for a female peer in one of my classes at school, but hastily brushed this aside. After finding a video of Bria & Chrissy (a well-known American lesbian couple) on the YouTube homepage, I decided to watch it. After that, I continued to watch other content creators such as Ash Hardell and Rose & Rosie. While it was comforting to see a collection of people who were so unapologetic about their queerness, there was something unsettling about many of these YouTube videos. While I now watch the wonderful content these personalities produce without a second thought, as an early teen they represented a source of fear to me as I’d been constantly



It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I credit Star Wars as one of the main predecessors to my self-realisation regarding my sexuality. My older brother frequently watched the film franchise on VHS during my childhood, and I had a fascination with Princess Leia and Padmé Amidala, which, in retrospect, is what I would describe as a classic case of celebrity crushes. Both these women were beautiful and graceful, but equally powerful and courageous; the admiration I felt for them was not strange to me, as the feelings of internalised shame our society often creates within those who don’t adhere to social norms hadn’t yet instilled itself within me.

denying my sexuality, yet the online LGBTQ+ presence was proof that it was possible to live openly gay – a thought that sends chills down the spine of any teenager who has spent their school years hearing the words gay and lesbian used as insults.

liked girls, and the overwhelming support she’s received throughout her music career demonstrated to me that queer women being their authentic selves have just as much ability to thrive as anyone else. It also led to me listening to other queer female music artists, like Marika Hackman and Janelle Monáe, who both celebrated the beauty of loving women. Queer media representation was also what encouraged me to move to Brighton initially. I found the process of deciding which university to go to incredibly difficult, as I questioned whether or not I was actually ready to make the move. Watching the 2005 Channel 4 adaptation of Julie Burchill’s Sugar Rush when I was in my late teens was a confirmation to me that going to the University of Sussex was the right choice. When teenager Kim moves to Brighton in the show, it becomes the place where she is able to explore her sexuality as she falls in love with her new friend and ‘total goddess’ Sugar. Although I knew I was queer before moving to Brighton, it was being here and being surrounded by other LGBTQ+ people in such a gay-friendly area that finally made me feel at ease enough to talk openly about my sexuality with friends and family. It is often difficult and unsettling to confront your identity, and in retrospect I understand why I often felt a degree of hostility towards things that left me considering my sexuality in a world where heterosexuality is the default. However, without pop culture that provided me with a safe space to gain an understanding of my sexuality, I most certainly wouldn’t feel as content with myself as I do today. As Ms Kiyoko reminded us in her 2020 hit song She, we can be unashamedly gay and no one can make us less.


) For young people growing up queer, I would argue that defining markers in their experience of self-discovery are the popular culture products that triggered certain realisations regarding their identity. Now 21 and openly queer, my teenage years consisted of the soul-searching process that most members of the LGBTQ+ community have undergone, and pop culture was often what provoked a greater understanding of myself.


Rachel Badham looks at the influence popular culture has on young LGBTQ+ identities and how it helped her find her home in Brighton


“Once we talk about these things that are troubling us or have happened to us, it opens the door to the future and you step out of the cluttered room of the past”

Sygrove) – an evil, manipulative man, with sexual and drug-related controls over Ben – a truly horrific but realistic portrayal. And then there’s a sort of safe escape hallucinatory figure of an astronaut, whose existence on the edge of a black hole in space is a powerful metaphor for the future in the play. Twenty-eight year-old James trained at the Miskin Theatre, Dartford and also studied at Dartington and Bath Spa Universities, but dropped out of both institutions. His first play, Something Bad is Happening In The Streets, had a successful run at Camden Fringe and a number of colleges. After dropping out at Bath he created the drag character Bambi Boo and was mentored by fellow drag artiste Rose Garden. “I learned a lot about drag and life from Rose,’” he tells me. “I chose Bambi because I lost my mother when I was very young and Boo as it was often the expected audience reaction.” Four years on the drag circuit eventually seems to have taken its toll; “I fell into dark times and found myself in a world of drugs, missing gigs and being an all-round arse,” he says explicitly.


But coming out the other side of this troubled period James trained as a counsellor and educational professional and was inspired to write Star Man. “Ben, the central character, really started from me and a lot of his pain is something I can totally identify with and the fact he had gone through so much, I needed him to live on in some way perhaps to give myself the faith that I can too. After multiple suicide attempts and finally coming out about my trauma, things began to get better. “Once we talk about these things that are troubling us or have happened to us, it opens the door to the future and you step out of the cluttered room of the past.”

STAR MAN Brian Butler talks to playwright James Cole about chemsex, suicide bids and being a survivor

Being half Jamaican and half Italian, James wants his next writing project to be about race – probably the 1958 Notting Hill race riots.

) When you chat to James Cole – albeit via

Whatever his subject, it seems to me he will tackle it head on with care, humanity and total honesty.

social media – you get a firm impression of a young writer who is determined to find positives out of his troubled past. On Sunday, August 23 there was the chance to see and hear his new play Star Man, and help him get it from page to stage. I had the privilege to sit in virtually on a Zoom reading of the play recently. Narrated by David E Hull-Watters, it’s the story of Ben (Jasper William Cartwright), a deeply troubled young man, whose serious drug addiction leads to a hallucinatory trip backwards and forwards in his short life, revealing bit by bit his mind and bodyshattering childhood. Cole manages to merge

past and present, and even some of the central characters sometimes morph from one identity to another. Ben’s surrounded by friends, lovers and family who are all desperately trying to help him in their own way and Cole has created some very human characters – Tony (Harry Edwin), the on-off love of his life; Dionne (Kim Tatum), his slightly detached mother who tries her best against the odds; and Kennedy (Neil Summerville), a nicely drawn semi-comic father or auntie figure of a middle-aged drag queen who feels responsible for Ben’s welfare. And then there’s Cole’s brilliant two twists – his caring doctor veers backwards and forward into a character Cole calls Him (Jaymes


mad our conversations tend to get, but while each recording is structured (meaning we have discussions about potential topics), it’s completely unscripted, which leads us off on to beautifully wacky tangents all the time. “Throughout the week we have a bit of backand-forth with ideas of what we want to chat about, but we save the actual talking for recording so we don’t miss out on any gold.” How long does it take to edit and is there much cut out? T: “Recording the podcast is the easy bit. We usually have double the amount of content that we need for an hour show, so I spend one to two days editing it all together, cutting out the bits that don’t quite work or aren’t quite as funny as the rest.”

STUPID BOYS CLUB Gscene catches up with Toby Lawrence, Jonesy and Alex Ryan, hosts of the new comedy podcast. ) Three Brighton ‘z-listers’ – Jonesy, Toby Lawrence and Alex Ryan – take listeners through their personal therapy journeys, largely avoiding any issues of importance, and instead opting to talk about childhood embarrassments, teenage faux pas and a complete lack of anything that could be referred to as ‘adult behaviour’.

How did it all start? Alex: “We’ve always felt a kind of ‘calling’ towards podcast creation – much like Jonesy’s calling to puppy-fatherhood, or Toby’s calling to a Big Mac. Given our various failed radio and DJ careers, we thought it was about time we tried out a medium where no one can force you to stop. Like most people, we’ve got some pretty ridiculous tales from our collective pasts that were just asking to be relived and documented, but one of the key things with podcasting is that you need to have an overarching reason to exist – something that potential listeners can grasp on to when deciding whether or not to get involved. “Jonesy’s insane spreadsheet and research approach to dog ownership was just the reason we needed to gather round a microphone and start recording and, while we’ve now descended more into the ‘talking nonsense’ realm, it’s great to have that dog/pet theme to come back to – it’s our safe port in some very stormy seas.” Tell us more about Jonesy’s dog, Cookie – is all the prep working? Jonesy: “Cookie is doing really well. She’s developed a remarkable ability to shift from

‘world’s cutest teddy bear’ to ‘demon bitey jack-in-the-box’ in the blink of an eye. Puppyhood has been a very beautiful, albeit sleep-deprived experience. “I spent months before her arrival reading puppy-based books and blogs, or watching YouTube videos, but nothing prepares you for the real thing. I think there’s actually a gap in the market for a ‘warts n’ all’ puppy book. None of the authors I came across divulged the joys of trimming your puppy’s fanny and/or bum hair, particularly doing so without scarring the poor pooch, psychologically or literally. And who knew anal glands were a thing, eh? Witness the cute side of Cookie on her Instagram @CookietheCavapooUK, which she most definitely manages and posts to herself, using a totally authentic ‘dog voice’.” A: “It’s worth pointing out that, while Cookie can ‘do no wrong’ in Jonesy’s eyes, Toby and I have definitely come to the conclusion that almost everything Jonesy has read about in these puppy books is wrong – but you can decide for yourself; • Does Cookie really need the sounds of the sea broadcast to her overnight, every night? • Is it OK that she rejects any water that people put down for her because she has her own Brita water filter back at home? • Is it really that important to forcibly socialise Cookie to things like bins, ironing boards, deodorant and people with big hats?” Does it all flow naturally or are there scripted/rehearsed bits? Toby: “It’s probably quite hard to believe how

A: “There are also a lot of bits we couldn’t possibly air, even when they’re jaw-droppingly funny, due to knowing that family and colleagues are listening - some banter is best kept between friends.” T: “Yeah, maybe one day we’ll do a special episode where I open up the Stupid Boys Club’s secret vault and show you all the stuff that didn’t quite make the cut. “Aside from cutting out bits, as all three of us have some background in radio I try to add in production here and there to make the podcast sound as polished as I possibly can.” How real is all the content? Some of it sounds fantastical. A: “It’s 100% real - simple as that. I mean, I guess that, as with everyone, stories from our youth may have ‘evolved’ over years of telling them, but I can promise that we don’t consciously exaggerate or embellish anything. One of the things that’s brought us together as friends is our willingness to do stupid things, never say no to a challenge, and, of course, our love of an adventure combined with a drinkypoo… these things are just a breeding ground for stupid and embarrassing stories.” J: “This podcast is probably the first time I’ve reflected on some of the weird things that have happened in my life. Based on the episodes so far, most of these things involve embarrassing poo stories and falling in love with inanimate objects. Mother would call me ‘eccentric’. Everyone else would probably settle on ‘strange’.” What’s your favourite bit so far? A: “Ooh it’s difficult to choose as we’ve found ourselves in uncontrollable giggles all over the place, but one particular joke at the end of episode six had us on the floor – we had to cut out about a minute of us trying to regain control, and a fair few of our listeners got in contact to relay similar experiences, so that’s certainly worth checking out. “Interviewing our first ever guest, Drag With No Name, is definitely a highlight for me. I’d felt so grateful for her incredible lockdown shows


J: “I’m particularly proud of the joke Alex just mentioned, at the end of episode six, although it probably destroyed any chance of the RSPCA ever sponsoring us… Other than that, the first episode we got to record faceto-face was lovely (socially distanced, obvs). As fun as it was recording remotely while on a group Zoom call, it’s not quite the same as being able to scowl at Alex and Toby in person.” T: “There are so many weird and wonderful moments that I’m so proud of on the show, but Jonesy having the balls to tell the world that he once fell in love with a fallen tree is a definite highlight for me. Either that or I found out that I could fit a biro in my belly button.” How do you go about finding your guests? J: “Between the three of us, we’ve all dabbled in the world of wannabe z-list celeb status. As a former local radio presenter, I regularly stalked (I think the correct term now is ‘followed’) many celebrities in an attempt to get their mobile number. That was mainly Will Young because I convinced myself we’d one day marry. Anyway, the point is that we have friends of friends of friends who once said hello to someone mildly famous, and we are milking the holy hell out of every contact we have. “The lovely Scott - Drag With No Name - was our first guest. Aside from her being a super popular local legend on the drag scene with a fab online lockdown show, Alex’s fan-girling of her was both sweet and sickening in equal measure. Maybe Alex secretly longs for the spotlight as a middle-aged drag queen?” A: “I’d probably give it a go actually – I once had to dress up as Posh Spice and did a convincing enough job that I got hit on by a couple of straight guys in a James Bondthemed party that we crashed. (picture below)


J: “In my role as promotions manager of Revenge (cheap plug), I’ve been lucky enough to book dozens of the RuPaul’s Drag Race stars over the years. Ironically, our first big guest

from the show, Bianca Del Rio, isn’t one of them. Her star power is more Wembley Arena than Club Revenge, but somehow I bagged an interview purely on the basis that she’s also obsessed with her dogs, Sammy and Dede.” Did you need to prep Bianca Del Rio much? J: “I did send a blurb to her manager beforehand, but - like all good management he didn’t tell her anything pre-interview. Before we hit the record button, I gave her a very brief overview of the podcast, but I liked the fact it was pretty spontaneous. Her interest peaked when I told her it was an adult comedy podcast so she could swear to high heaven. I think she dropped the C bomb within two minutes of the interview starting. She’s a classy bird, that’s why we love her.” BIANCA DEL RIO

for a really long time and really just wanted to show my appreciation for her efforts in giving a lot of people some much-needed escapism from the onset of lockdown.”

What’s it like when you’re recording? T: “When we started the podcast, we were in the midst of lockdown so we couldn’t just meet up, hit record and chat. We initially started recording over Zoom conferences and Facetime chats. Recently, now that things are a little bit more fluid, we all meet up on a Monday round at Alex’s and have a laugh together.” “Interviewing guests brings its own set of challenges. I’m pretty sure we all had a mini meltdown before interviewing Bianca about the best way of doing things, but we just got her on a Skype chat and talked to her through there. It seemed to work really well, and it was super easy for her.”

What else is in the pipeline for you all? J: “Long walks on the beach, a far smaller bank balance due to dog purchases and a budding career as a fanny hair trimmer (FOR DOGS). Aside from that, I’m hoping and praying we can open nightclubs again soon as Revenge celebrates its 30th birthday in 2021 and I’ve got a bunch of exciting events in the pipeline.” A: “For the first four months of lockdown, under the guise of The Furloughed Marketer, I gave free marketing support to lots of small businesses struggling to cope with the knockon effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. I enjoyed it enough to take voluntary redundancy from my day job and launch my own consultancy business called Marketing 101, while still creating free resources (a blog and another podcast) to help businesses that can’t afford to pay for marketing support. I guess it’s full steam ahead with that now – get in contact if you think I can be of assistance.” ( T: “Until I can start DJing again, I’ll be working on new music as much as possible, so keep an eye out for that. Or, if you fancy a more personal connection, pop into Bar Revenge and I’ll pour you a pint.”

Future plans for the show? A: “In general, we just want to keep getting better and better at creating it. It’s clearly improved over the first 10 episodes where we’re adding a lot more features and games and more polished editing, so I think we’re all keen to just pull something together that’s a professional-level piece of entertainment. “Obviously growing our audience would be great – some podcasts get popular enough to go on tour, performing and recording live to audiences of all kinds of sizes, and I know we’d all love to get to that point. Delivering our particular form of nonsense live just seems like an excellent fit.” J: “If we can one day earn enough from the podcast to a) pay for Cookie’s pet insurance and b) fund mine and Toby’s addiction to takeaways, I shall be a very happy homosexual.”

HOW TO LISTEN D Search: Stupid Boys Club on all

podcast services/apps D Ask Alexa to: ‘Play Stupid Boys Club

podcast’ D Visit:

canvas of experience those in our unpleasant sights have worked through, just to be.

CRAIG’S THOUGHTS Words. They cut like a knife, cut into my life. Or: you’d better think. By Craig Hanlon-Smith @craigscontinuum ) It was the Friday before what would have been Brighton & Hove Pride 2020. The train from London in the mid-afternoon was the busiest I had seen since before the lockdown with large groups of young people chattering and drinking as though this were any normal weekend visit to a sun-soaked seaside. Not a face-mask among them but when I was that age, I too was invincible. I began to navigate my way through the crowds and, although sporting my oversized noise cancelling headphones without any music playing, I was able to hear e v e r y t h i n g. “Batty man!” one of them called out as I stepped through them to the door-well. I slowly removed said hearing-muffs and, turning to the direction of the brave young soul, asked: “Who said that?” Most of their collective gaze hit the deck, I heard one of them say “oh my days”, two stared up at me but more out of curiosity than anything troublesome and all the girls sitting directly behind them giggled and drank from their wine bottles. My first thought was to congratulate them on drinking alcohol and that it made a change from inhaling chemicals from a rubber balloon, but I pocketed that thought for another occasion perhaps never to be said. “Who said that?” I repeated to no response. Having worked with young people across London for 20 years I reached into my knapsack of rehearsed epithets and turned to the chapter ‘disappointed Dad’. “I’m going to assume,” I went on, “that you are on your way to Brighton, the gay capital of the United Kingdom. With everything going on in the world and our need to be mindful of others’ needs, I am so disappointed that one of your number would call out ‘batty man’ as I pass though the train minding my own

business. I am of course assuming it was not a compliment but if I have that wrong now is the time to speak.” I moved on. Although I shared the story with friends that evening, I thought no more of it and certainly didn’t feel impacted or particularly affected by the experience. The next day a good friend shared that in London on the same day, someone had shouted “Gay c**t” at him in the street and I thought of my Friday experience again. In both cases how quickly the words are selected and thrown out as if bonfire night fire-cracker, a quick smarting crack and then we move on. Well not so fast. During recent discussions in a professional context, twice within the same week and as part of wider diversity discussion, an influential member of the board informed me that while the ‘unseen’ diversity that I bring to the table is recognised, this is “not the right kind of diversity at this time”. It was also pointed out to me that this comment was not in any way personal. I do not accept that. Words when directed at an individual however broadly intended, whether to make a different social point or in the case of the train, possibly just for a laugh, are absolutely personal. We cannot know the life journeys of those we attack, the rich cultural

To dismiss a person’s sexual orientation, or in whatever context an observation may be made, is to utterly discredit who that individual is and everything about them. We undermine their journey, their struggles, the achievements they have made. We disregard their ability to get up in the morning and function in spite of a lifetime of political and social aggression, state-sponsored discrimination, physical and verbal violence, and an ever-pervasive threat thereof. It’s an act of individualised and focused social and cultural terrorism and like all forms of terrorism it is dangerous, damaging and has far-reaching consequences beyond those we experience in the moment. American novelist and civil rights activist James Baldwin said: “I imagine one of the reasons people cling on to their hates is because they sense, once the hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain”. After almost 50 years of it I’m a little tired of being the sounding board for somebody else’s pain. Last summer I stood in the shoe department of a well-known high street store perusing trainers next to a group of young lads, the same age and demographic of the teenagers on the Friday train. The lad nearest to me was handed a pair of trainers along with “What about these?” To which he replied: “Nah, they will make me look gay”. I rested my hand upon his forearm and said: “Which would of course be absolutely fine.” The boys all ran off giggling. Some 15 minutes later as I was about to leave the store, he came back. All six foot five teenage lump of him and he said: “I’m pleased you’re still here because I’ve come to say that I’m sorry. It’s just when you’re with your mates, you know? I didn’t want you to go home thinking that I was prejudiced against gay people. So I’m sorry”. And until that moment, I had no idea how much I needed him to come back and say that. Because in all of those years of being that sounding board, he is the only one who ever came back and said “I am sorry”. Think before you speak. Then think again. Then think some more. And then decide if you need to say it at all. Words can cut like a knife, but they can also heal the sick and tired.

“It’s an act of individualised and focused social and cultural terrorism and like all forms of terrorism it is dangerous, damaging and has far-reaching consequences beyond those we experience in the moment”






) As a nation, when it comes to talking about our own demise, we tend to clam up and change the subject in fearing it will hasten our own death, which is bit silly when you think about it - just because someone talks about sex doesn’t mean they will get pregnant.

) If there’s a silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that the Western world has been forced to address the hitherto taboo subject of impending death. As in a time of war, priorities shift, trivial allegiances are jettisoned and our minds become focused on the daily task of staying alive. It’s a far more visceral existence and one our gay community has gone through before.

So, let’s have that conversation. Over the last couple of years there have been news items of people saying they cannot afford to bury their loved ones as the huge cost of funerals has caught them out. has put the cost of a burial at £4,321 and cremation at £3,250. This is a huge financial burden to land on those who are grieving so it really makes sense to have some kind of saving plan in place, and it really doesn’t need to be one of those schemes you see on daytime television offering a free pen. To see what types of funeral/over 50s saving accounts are out there, is a good starting point, but shop around and consider other ways of saving for that day which all of us will face. The cost of a traditional funeral is expensive, but there are no rules to say you have to go down that route. I would strongly suggest to do some research online while you are well and in good health, and check out different funeral webpages such as, which gives a comprehensive list of everything you may want to consider. There are a wide variety of funeral options to choose from and again it is well worth checking out choices you have while you are well lists local funeral parlours, listing what they offer and prices.

A memorable, well thought out funeral can bring a lot of comfort to those who are left behind, and when the grieving process begins to fade, it won’t be the expensive cars or chapel that will be remembered, it will be the kind words spoken and the music chosen that will stay in people’s memories. These are things that you may already have in mind or that will come to you nearer the time it comes for you to say goodbye. Telling someone you would like them to give your eulogy or that you would like people to stand up and say a few words can be the most powerful part of any funeral, but let people know you would like them involved.

“When the grieving process begins to fade, it won’t be the expensive cars or chapel that will be remembered, it will be the kind words spoken and the music chosen that will stay in people’s memories” The best thing you can do for those you leave behind is to create a funeral folder, have all the information about what type of goodbye you would like, along with all your other important documents, then you can sit back and get on with living your life to the full.

When I was in my 20s, a close friend died of Aids and I was paralysed by grief over this for years. It’s a strange fact that as one ages, death in all its fearful guises becomes more of a norm. I haven’t become a psychopath, I don’t dress as my mother and run a motel. Death of acquaintances is simply not so heartstoppingly shocking; like jumping into freezing water time and time again, it gets easier. I can even see the funny side of death, provided it’s no one I know. I confess, I laughed out loud reading of a woman in Ohio who hung herself in her front garden as a cry for help, but did it on October 31st, so was mistaken for a Halloween decoration.

“I can even see the funny side of death, provided it’s no one I know. I confess, I laughed out loud reading of a woman in Ohio who hung herself in her front garden as a cry for help, but did it on October 31st, so was mistaken for a Halloween decoration” The reality of dealing with a Brighton pub mate passing away in the post-Covid world is sad and strange. It goes like this: we haven’t seen him for weeks, (nobody’s seen anyone in lockdown!) but he posts regular updates on Facebook saying he feels unwell and is going for check ups. Cue the flurry of crying-face emojis and “thinking of you” comments. He is in and out of hospital, photos show him looking thin and exhausted. He’s secured his PIP which I told my partner must be bad, because the DWP are finding dead people eligible for work these days. His cancer is terminal. I send him a virtual hug. He says he wishes he could hug Amanda as she makes him laugh. A close friend then texts us to say he’s now on morphine. And then he’s gone. Rest in peace darling. I’m a spiritual person, I believe his body is gone, but not his soul. Some within the scientific community tentatively support this theory. Recent mumblings among quantum theorists suggest that the universe itself is conscious. Wouldn’t that mean that when we shuffle off this mortal coil, we are in fact ‘going home’, like a radio that’s broken, the programme it used to transmit is still there regardless. Energy never dies, we just cease to have the ability to harness it. I’d like to think so. All this grave talk puts me in mind of that wonderful song by Peggy Lee, a regular on our Alexa playlist and something of a modus vivendi for my wife and I, it goes like this: “Is that all there is. is that all there is? If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing Let's break out the booze and have a ball If that's all there is…”


A few years ago, MindOut and Switchboard ran an event called the ‘Death Café’. This is an informal tea and cakes discussion space to talk about death in general and our own in particular, you don’t have to be dying to attend and it is not about bereavement. We wanted to extend this opportunity to LGBTQ+ people.

MINDOUT How would you cope receiving the worst news imaginable? MindOut, the LGBTQ+ mental health charity, share Seema’s story... ) Seema knew she wouldn’t make old bones. Both her parents died in their 50s, when she was in her early 20s. But when she got the diagnosis it was still devastating. Terminal. Cancer. The worst it could be.

was frightened of what was to come and frightened of her own feelings. She didn’t know where to turn. She was afraid of staying angry, being so furious with anyone who wasn’t dying that she would end up alone.

How would she cope? How do you reckon with a life which will be cut shorter than seems fair. But then again what is fair? What right do we have to expect any length of life? Who says death only happens to the old, what is old enough? Seema knew people whose children had died before them, people who had died in tragic, sudden accidents, illnesses, suicides. Death was not that unusual.

Seema had felt very alone and lonely at other times in her life. She had experienced severe anxiety and a deep depression and had barely been able to communicate at least twice before. She really didn’t want that to happen again.

But this time it was about her. I knew Seema, not well and only for a few years before her death, but I was privileged to listen to her talk about going through the last years, the last months, to be part of her preparation for death. She managed to live with her terminal diagnosis, to live as well and as fully as she could. At first she withdrew, pulled the covers over her head, cancelled everything, resigned from her two jobs. She felt incapacitated, powerless, devastated. As if she were grieving for herself, for her lost future, her lost plans. She was furious. Why her? How could this have happened, who was to blame? She found it hard to cope with the responses of her nearest and dearest. Seema knew she needed help to face it all, her anger and grief were overwhelming, she

After three or four weeks she reached a turning point. She knew she needed to face the world again, get out from under the covers, communicate and connect with other people. Amazingly, she managed to feel her anger and fear and talk about it. She talked to friends, she talked to groups online, she got counselling, she talked to anyone who would listen. She put herself first, for once, and determined to live what life she had left, wherever that took her. Seema was fortunate. She had good friends, somewhere safe to live, enough money to live on and enough to eat. Despite her diagnosis she remained mobile and though she endured some painful treatments she was not in constant or debilitating pain until the end. I wanted to tell some of Seema’s story because she taught me so much about death and dying, and showed me that we don’t talk about it enough. Like most people, Seema and I really thought death happened to other people, and that it was a long way off for us. Not so.

Many of us may feel worried or confused about our feelings more so than the rest of the population. More of us live alone, many of us are alienated from or rejected by our original families, and families are often where the rituals of death take place. Some of us have very close friends and acquired family, partners, children but many of us do not. This will affect how we regard our own deaths. It can be really liberating, moving, transformational to talk about death and dying. It can help us to live, it really helped Seema. She wanted to live, but she didn’t feel that she had missed out on her own life. She died relatively content, you could say she died well. I know she would be pleased if her experience helped anyone else. As with many challenging life changes, facing it on your own can make it so much harder. Loneliness and isolation always affect our mental health, whatever else is also going on. Many of us have been more acutely isolated in the last few months than ever before. The pandemic has had a massive effect on everyone’s mental health and many of us need more support than ever. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, MindOut is now offering a new telephone befriending service, please get in touch if you would like to know more. MindOut offers a range of peer support groups and workshops as well as low-cost counselling. We have advocacy workers who can assist with getting support from mainstream services and health care.

ONLINE SUPPORT Our online support service is open daily for everyone and we also have weekly sessions for: • Black people or indigenous people of colour; • Covid-19 anxieties and coming out of lockdown; • Trans people; • People aged under 30.

MINDOUT INFO “Many of us may feel worried or confused about our feelings more so than the rest of the population. More of us live alone, many of us are alienated from or rejected by our original families and families are often where the rituals of death take place”

All MindOut services are run by and for LGBTQ+ people with experience of mental health issues, our services are confidential, non-judgemental, affirmative and empowering. D For more info, please see our website: N or call us on 01273 234839 D or email






) Over lockdown I would wager that if you haven't lost someone, you know somebody that has. For me, my loss came quite unexpectedly, as I just assumed that she would exist forever. My nan died three weeks into lockdown, and that was at a time when it was absolutely a no go to travel to my family to support them, it was simply a case of sitting alone with my thoughts, and Facetime my mum for a couple of hours while the funeral took place.

) I was pondering death the other day. I'd just seen one of those bikes with a box on the front whizz by me. You know the ones. Driven by a parent of a certain type, their children placed in a large wooden box at the front of the bike which looks remarkably like the top end of a coffin. I presume there's straps in the box to hold the kiddiwinks in place as they go hurtling down the avenues of Hove and that they won't just fly out of the front when the parents whack on the brakes. Still. Handy coffin available if something untoward happens.

Losing my nan was a strange one because to put it simply, we weren't very close. Her and I were very much like chalk and cheese, she always wanted me to be the perfect little girl and do little girl things. My most recent memory of her is what got me thinking. She had vehemently expressed that my desire not to have children was unacceptable. This got me thinking in a time of great panic and worry about legacies. I’m not going to be leaving a line of offspring behind me when I shuffle off my mortal coil. No one will say that they have my eyes, and no one will call me mother. I suppose since I’m a woman the pressure to have children by the time I’m 35 or I’m simply not fulfilling my use is a rhetoric which has plagued the childless for as long as the expectation has existed. But my answer to my nan was just this, “I have more to leave behind than what my womb can do”. While I won’t raise a tiny human to carry on my name after I’m gone, I am finding it interesting to look at ways in which I can leave behind a piece of me after I’ve died. Legacies make us, even if it's just a line of text, an important photograph, or an esteemable act. I find it interesting that a lot of people wait to start leaving something to other people until they are older. As a woman I think maybe this is because the timeline has been pre set: you live your fun, carefree life, you have children, they grow up and you've done your part. But for me and many others this is simply not so, and what if you shun that expectation?

“After we die we are simply stories, so after my nan died I started to think about what stories I wanted to be told about me” Each one of us has turned to people and resources that inspire us to guide us through our lives and become little pieces of who we are. After we die we are simply stories, so after my nan died I started to think about what stories I wanted to be told about me, and thus sparked a new way of thinking. I figure that thinking about how you want to be remembered after you've gone, can change who you are right now. In my opinion, it's not the people we can make with our bodies that make us. It's the journeys we help others to take, in whatever way, after we’ve gone.

So then, death. Good topic for a light-hearted column. We shy away from talking about death though, which is understandable. It's not like you've ever had a fabulous evening with your friends, drinking bottles of wine and laughing your head off chatting about death. 'And then, Veronica just keeled over and died! Ha ha ha ha!'. Still. Death and taxes. The two things guaranteed for us all. Unless you're Amazon. Oooh, political. The one thing I am waiting to happen is for old people's homes solely for gays to become a thing. That'd be great. With just the right amount of 'gay community' stuff catered for. You'd be prescribed a certain number of G&Ts a day; the male nurses would cover all the bases for the residents' lusts; all the female nurses would be Hattie Jacques-esque. Miss Marple and Drag Race would be shown on a loop like the porn in a sauna (not that I'd know what goes on in a sauna). The Golden Girls and Miranda would loop on another channel.

“You’d be prescribed a certain number of G&Ts a day; the male nurses would cover all the bases for the residents’ lusts; all the female nurses would be Hattie Jacques-esque” There'd have to be cabaret evenings. Two or three a week. Whoever the current names of the time would go on a rota so you wouldn't get the same acts doing the same songs every week, sometimes twice a week. Because you wouldn't want that. And karaoke would be weekly. Whether you wanted it or not. And perhaps some kind of community/political chap could come in and talk about that kind of thing. I wouldn't go to that one. I'd stay in my room and watch Joan Hickson being excellent on the telly. There'll have to be a pool for lounging by. And an outside bar. Waiter service. Pool would have to be heated so you weren't fishing out old men popsicles every morning from the freezing cold water. Hot and cold running condoms. Whatever that means. I think that should just about cover everything. Oh. Food. Just do Deliveroo. Provide an all day breakfast till the third G&T comes by at 5pm. Doesn't sound that bad. And all on the NHS. Pop a penny in the pound on income tax to pay for it. Can't see anyone complaining. So, if someone could get all that sorted for when I need it, that'd be great. Just needs a catchy name... 'A Gay Old Time Nursing Home'. Marvellous.


RAE’S REFLECTIONS Lili Reinhart and the biphobic monster in the closet. By Rachel Badham


Lili said she felt the media in particular would “vilify me and accuse me of faking it to get attention” - a feeling that is all too common among the bisexual community. As a queer woman who is content with being referred to as either bisexual or pansexual, I identified strongly with Lili’s words, and they reminded me just how apparent biphobia is in so many aspects of everyday life. We see biphobia in the media as those who speak openly about their bisexuality are often told, as Lili stated, that they are “attention seeking”, particularly if they are in a heterosexual relationship. Perhaps even more distressing is strong presence of biphobia in the LGBTQ+ community itself, as bisexual and pansexual people are often considered not queer enough to be part of the community. When I first realised that I was attracted to women, I already had deep-rooted internalised biphobia from a lifetime of seeing bisexual people being invalidated. While I could acknowledge that I was indeed queer, I could not admit to myself that I was attracted to people of all genders through fear of being rejected from the community that was so important to me. A 2020 piece in The Guardian has coined the biphobic and anti-queer phenomenon as the


“two tales of coming out”. Phillip Schofield came out as gay and Jameela Jamil as queer in the same week at the beginning of this year - “one was met with an outpouring of support, and another with cynical doubt and scathing criticism”. Jeff Ingold, head of media at LGBTQ+ organisation Stonewall, told The Guardian that, while most people acknowledge the legitimacy of being gay, there is “generally a much lower understanding of what it means to be queer”.


) Best known for her roles as Betty in the popular Netflix series Riverdale and Annabelle in crime drama Hustlers, actress and activist Lili Reinhart came out as a ‘proud bisexual woman’ earlier in 2020 on an Instagram story promoting a Black Lives Matter protest. In a recent interview with Flaunt magazine, Reinhart discussed her bisexuality in more detail, saying “I knew full well that I was attracted to women from a young age”, but was afraid to come out publicly as she has only been in what she described as “heteronormative relationships”, such as her romance with Riverdale co-star Cole Sprouse.

Jameela is also in a heterosexual relationship, which impacted public response to her coming out. Much like Reinhart feared, The Good Place star was accused of seeking attention while continuing to live a heteronormative life. What is evident is that there is misguided societal need for people to qualify as ‘queer enough’ to be regarded as a valid member of the LGBTQ+ community. As I hadn’t yet begun to dismantle my internalised biphobia, I felt as if I had no place in the LGBTQ+ community when I was in a heterosexual relationship a couple of years ago. Now I understand this is a result of societal prejudice, which I began to understand in the past couple of years and have written about previously. Moreover, biphobia isn’t the only issue that is apparent here; attaching people to their relationship status is not just invalidating to

the person as an individual, but is often coming from a place of sexism when women are defined in terms of their relationships with men. To attach someone’s orientation and their overall identity to their current relationship is demeaning and problematic on multiple levels and is one of the main tools utilised by biphobic rhetoric to invalidate queer people in heteronormative presenting relationships, and by heterosexism to undermine sexual freedom and individuality. Lili is undoubtedly no stranger to this occurrence, having often been referred to as ‘Cole Sprouse’s girlfriend’ in headlines, so it’s no wonder that she described feeling afraid to live openly as her true bisexual self. However, bisexual representation in the media and celebrities such as Reinhart are what have encouraged me to embrace my own sexuality. As I do not even consider Lili’s past and present relationships to be relevant to her own queer identity, I should apply the same rules to myself and hope that other bisexual and pansexual people do the same. Jeff Ingold told The Guardian “society needs to see that LGBTQ+ people exist in every space”, including spaces which are generally, and often wrongly, perceived as heterosexual. I admire Reinhart greatly for not only learning to accept herself in a society that has told her not to, but for highlighting that biphobia continues to be a very real problem. The remedy: to deconstruct hegemonic heterosexist understandings of sexuality as two opposing poles through evaluating how heteronormative ideology communicates subtle messages of biphobia to the masses. And, of course, increasing queer visibility and providing education about what it means to identify outside of the heterosexual mould.

MORE INFO ) ‘Lili Reinhart: And it was asked that the body and soul might unite, and they did’ Halima Haider, Flaunt, August 5, 2020 ) ‘It’s time to talk about biphobia’ - Rachel Badham, The Badger, November 16, 2018 ) ‘Jameela Jamil and Phillip Schofield: two tales of coming out’ - Nosheen Iqbal, The Guardian, February 8, 2020

“There is misguided societal need for people to qualify as ‘queer enough’ to be regarded as a valid member of the LGBTQ+ community. As I hadn’t yet begun to dismantle my internalised biphobia, I felt as if I had no place in the LGBTQ+ community when I was in a heterosexual relationship”








) I wonder if during this summer of Covid we have given too much time to introspection, a process we have all inevitably been undertaking, examining our emotions and thoughts.

) We have been busy harvesting courgettes, beans, chard, potatoes (Charlotte), cauliflower, salad leaves and also some carrots that look a little bit like the cast of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

With lockdown recently eased I was able to attend a family event where people of all ages were having a great time catching up. It was while listening to the various conversations that I reflected on whether, since lockdown, perhaps I have been a little too introspective without considering generational differences. At this event I was observing how those in the 20 to 30 age group interacted and inevitably, as people relaxed, they were sharing their thoughts about Covid, the future, family, friends and relationships. At this family event I was struck by how the younger ones interacted with each other, with no obvious judgment of each other or their hopes and dreams in their lives. Sadly, as we age life makes us cynical – shattered dreams and everyday experiences that don’t go to plan constantly impact on the way we think. However, with cynicism comes wisdom if we use those experiences constructively to move forward as we age and not become stuck in a fixed mindset.

Now the harvesting is clearing some space and enabling us to start planning and preparing for the autumn/winter. We’ll be able to plan and plant main crop onions, garlic and shallots. Broad beans and early peas can go in. We also like to plant some spring bulbs - daffs, tulips, irises, anemones etc for colour and cutting. Next issue will hopefully include some photos from our sojourn on the other side of the channel.

The sense of fun was apparent, which reflected on my own sense of self in a good way. Casting my mind back I remember the hippy times of some 50 years ago – I was young, but how those times influenced me during the following years. It’s clear to me the importance of keeping an open opinion about pretty much everything. I’ve learned that keeping my thoughts fresh, listening to others, reflecting and processing emotions helps to make sense of things. It’s always been so very important for me to be able to observe and consider my emotions and mental processes.

“I’ve learned that keeping my thoughts fresh, listening to others, reflecting and processing emotions helps to make sense of things”

While we’re away travelling, King Weed (Donald), is head gardener and will be reaping both crops and benefits of his hard work. I notice that two of Tina’s photos could be clues for film titles although one would have to be fried and the other would need to be embroidered! If you’ve actually read this far we will tell you what they are next time.

In order for many of us, myself included, the time during the 1990s and before in the 1980s with the Aids epidemic, as it was known, having an understanding of introspection was how we coped and for many of us who have survived until now. Those who know me and those who’ve read my previous pieces in Gscene are aware of my journey and the challenges and strategies that have affected me. Along the bumpy road there have been some wonderful loving, fun times, and some sad ones too, of course. For some years now I’ve practised yoga and the meditative processes. Not only has this impacted very positively on my physical condition but, vitally, the ability to keep calm, relax and understand thoughts and emotions.

We’ve also been cultivating mint from leaving it in water until it rooted and the purple basil was a gift from Rob (two plots down). Thank you to Phil and Paul for the kind donation of the butternuts.

A feeling of contentment and calm washes over us if we understand introspection.

See you next month, Laurie Lavender, Tina Thyme (PA, photographer, etc etc).



GILDED GHETTO BY ERIC PAGE DYING TO LIVE ) Because I could not stop for Death – being so busy as I am with the living of the life, the sorting of the things, the loving, the laughter, the worry and the cares. It takes up every living moment, does the living of life. So busy thinking of the things that can be done, places to visit, people to catch up with, dinner to cook, kisses to kiss, books to read, it’s endless, even just sitting still on the beach takes time. No time for dying, oh no, not yet, although I have, because of Miss C Rona, had a few deep thoughts about my own mortality and a few light conversations with loved ones about a time when I might not be around anymore. I’ve also been thinking of what happens to the folk I love when I’m no longer here. And how, with so much peril in our everyday lives, I may die myself. I imagine a ripe old age, many happy memories, supportive sad friends, a passing with dignity, a loved one holding my hand as I slip away painlessly into oblivion. I envisage having time to prepare, some music to assist my passing, Handel obviously, a sad countertenor lamenting the loss of a refulgent star to the firmament as I fade, with immense presence, off. I’ve thought of cremation or burial; I’d rather like a pyre, lit by crazy haired women who howl into the night and dance till I’m ash. I think of legacy, of lovers, of loss. Their loss, of me and my mind turns away from mawkish melancholic thoughts of my own demise and to what I’m going to have for dinner when I get home. He kindly stopped for me – or rather he didn’t stop, driving drunk as he was, going directly through two sets of red lights in the drab evening rain and slamming directly into the driver’s side of my car, where I sat, trundling along at 35 miles an hour singing Neil Diamond and thinking about oven chips. Ending me, in a mangled moment of twisted steel, inertial physics and an instant. Not even time to adjust my hair, the horror! Both of us blended together in a smear of blood, bone, shattered glass and a boozy last breath.


email by SEPT 12 to guarantee placement




The Carriage held but just Ourselves – the irony of an afterlife with a drunk driver as company. The last few moments of consciousness entangled with a stranger’s confusion, both struggling to comprehend The End before the lights go out and Death nods and says ‘mind the doors’, deadpan. Equal, without meaning; an awful accident. My dinner plans upset forever, no time to do the things that needed to be done, no time to say the things which needed to be said, no time. No time left at all. And Immortality. Death ain’t so bad really, once you get past the ending, painful bit. They have a boundless sense of humour and knows everybody's name, induction is swift, and you get an extravagant set of outfits to choose from. I’m a bit bored over here, it’s endless, really. I keep thinking I wish I’d lived a bit more, rather than deferring stuff. That's what life is about, the living of it, grasping the adventure and experience of it, I see that now I’ve got a bit of perspective, Death’s great for putting things into perspective, too late now though, I just get to sit around and be exquisite and never explain.

Keeping you connected with LGBTQ+ Brighton & Hove, Sussex and beyond! VISIT: D FOLLOW: F GScene.Brighton T Gscene JOIN: F Gscene LGBTQ+ Communities Group



● MINDOUT Independent, impartial services run by and for LGBTQ people with experience of mental health issues. 24 hr confidential answerphone: 01273 234839 or email and out of hours online chat


Drop-in for LGBT or unsure young people under 26 Tues 5.30–8.30pm 01273 721211 or email,

Social/peer support group for FTM, transmasculine & gender queer people, every 1st Wed 7-9pm & 3rd Sat of month 1-3pm at Space for Change, Windlesham Venue, BN1 3AH.




Report all homophobic, biphobic or transphobic incidents to: 24/7 assistance call Police on 101 (emergencies 999) Report online at: LGBT team (not 24/7) email: • LGBT Officer PC James Breeds: Tel: 101 ext 558168

● BRIGHTON & HOVE LGBT SAFETY FORUM Independent LGBT forum working within the communities to address and improve safety and access issues in Brighton & Hove. For more info: 01273 675445 or or

● BRIGHTON & HOVE LGBT SWITCHBOARD • LGBT Older Peoples' Project • LGBT Health Improvement and Engagement Project • LGBTQ Disabilities Project • Rainbow Café: support for LGBT+ people with Dementia • Volunteering opportunities 01273 234 009 Helpline hours: Wed & Thur, 7–9.30pm; trans-only webchat on Sun 3–5pm: call 01273 204 050 email webchat

● BRIGHTON ONEBODYONEFAITH Formerly The Gay Christian Movement. Contact: Nigel Nash

● BRIGHTON WOMEN’S CENTRE Info, counselling, drop-in space, support groups 01273 698036 or visit

● LESBIAN & GAY AA 12-step self-help programme for alcohol addictions: Sun, 7.30pm, Chapel Royal, North St, Btn (side entrance). 01273 203 343 (general AA line)

● LGBT COCAINE ANONYMOUS Meeting every Tues 6.30-8pm, 6 Tilbury Pl, Brighton, BN2 0GY, CA isn’t allied with any outside organisation, and neither endorses or opposes any causes. Helpline 0800 6120225,,

● LGBT NA GROUP Brighton-based LGBT (welcomes others) Narcotics Anonymous group every Tue 6.30–8pm, Millwood Centre, Nelson Row, Kingswood St. 0300 999 1212

● LGBT+ MEDITATION GROUP Meditation & discussion, every 2nd & 4th Thur, 5.30–7pm, Anahata Clinic, 119 Edward St, Brighton. 07789 861 367 or

● LUNCH POSITIVE Lunch club for people with HIV. Meet/make friends, find peer support in safe space. Every Fri, noon–2.30pm, Community Room, Dorset Gdns Methodist Church, Dorset Gdns, Brighton. Lunch £1.50. 07846 464 384 or

● MCC BRIGHTON Inclusive, affirming space where all are invited to come as they are to explore their spirituality without judgement. 01273 515572 or

Regular low cost yoga, therapies, swimming, meditation & social groups for people with HIV. or

● RAINBOW FAMILIES Support group for lesbian and/or gay parents 07951 082013 or

● RAINBOW HUB Information, contact, help and guidance to services for LGBT+ communities in Brighton, Hove and Sussex at Rainbow Hub drop in LGBT+ one-stop shop: 93 St James Street, BN2 1TP, 01273 675445 or visit

● SOME PEOPLE Social/support group for LGB or questioning aged 14-19, Tue 5.30-7.30pm, Hastings. Call/text Cathrine Connelly 0797 3255076 or email

● TAGS – THE ARUN GAY SOCIETY Social Group welcome all inEast & West Sussex Areas. Call/Text 07539 513171

● VICTIM SUPPORT Practical, emotional support for victims of crime 08453 899 528

● THE VILLAGE MCC Christian church serving the LGBTQ community. Sundays 6pm, Somerset Day Centre, Kemptown 07476 667353


Sussex HIV & AIDS info service 01403 210202 or email

● BRIGHTON & HOVE CAB HIV PROJECT Money, benefits, employment, housing, info, advocacy. Appointments: Tue-Thur 9am-4pm, Wed 9am-12.30pm Brighton & Hove Citizens Advice Bureau, Brighton Town Hall. 01273 733390 ext 520 or

● CLINIC M Free confidential testing & treatment for STIs including HIV, plus Hep A & B vaccinations. Claude Nicol Centre, Sussex County Hospital, on Weds from 5-8pm. 01273 664 721 or

advice only (no assessments), Fri 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm. • Gary Smith (LGBT* Support) 07884 476634 or email For more info visit weblink:

● SUSSEX BEACON 24 hour nursing & medical care, day care 01273 694222 or

● TERRENCE HIGGINS TRUST SERVICES For more info about these free services go to the THT office, 61 Ship St, Brighton, Mon–Fri, 10am–5pm 01273 764200 or • Venue Outreach: info on HIV, sexual health, personal safety, safer drug/alcohol use, free condoms/lubricant for men who have sex with men • The Bushes Outreach Service @ Dukes Mound: advice, support, info on HIV & sexual health, and free condoms & lube • Netreach (online/mobile app outreach in Brighton & Hove): info/advice on HIV/sexual health/local services. THT Brighton Outreach workers online on Grindr, Scruff, & Squirt • Condom Male: discreet, confidential service posts free condoms/lube/sexual health info to men who have sex with men without access to East Sussex commercial gay scene • Positive Voices: volunteers who go to organisations to talk about personal experiences of living with HIV • Fastest (HIV testing): walk-in, (no appointment) rapid HIV testing service open to MSM (Men who have sex with Men). Anyone from the African communities, male and female sex workers and anyone who identifies as Trans or non-binary. We now offer rapid 15 minutes results for HIV/Syphilis: Mon 10am-8pm, Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-8pm (STI testing available) • Sauna Fastest at The Brighton Sauna (HIV testing): walk-in, (no appointment) rapid HIV testing service for men who have sex with men, results in 20 minutes: Wed: 6–8pm (STI testing available) • Face2Face: confidential info & advice on sexual health & HIV for men who have sex with men, up to 6 one hour appointments • Specialist Training: wide range of courses for groups/ individuals, specific courses to suit needs • Counselling: from qualified counsellors for up to 12 sessions for people living with/affected by HIV • What Next? Thurs eve, 6 week peer support group work programme for newly diagnosed HIV+ gay men • HIV Support Services: info, support & practical advice for people living with/affected by HIV • HIV Welfare Rights Advice: Find out about benefits or benefit changes. Advice line: Tue–Thur 1:302:30pm. 1-2-1 appts for advice & workshops on key benefits


• Web support & info on HIV, sexual health & local services via netreach and • Free condom postal service contact Grace Coughlan on 07584086590 or



Free confidential tests & treatment for STIs inc HIV; Hep A & B vaccinations. Worthing based 0845 111345645

Medical advice, treatment for HIV+, specialist clinics, diet & welfare advice, drug trials. 01273 664 722


● MARTIN FISHER FOUNDATION HIV Self testing kits via digital vending machines available from: The Brighton Sauna, Subline, Prowler, Marlborough Pub and The Rainbow Hub

● SUBSTANCE MISUSE SERVICE Pavillions Partnership. Info, advice, appointments & referrals 01273 731 900. Drop-in: Richmond House, Richmond Rd, Brighton, Mon-Wed & Fri 10am-4pm, Thur 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-1pm; 9 The Drive, Hove 01273 680714 Mon & Wed 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm, Tue & Thu 10am-4pm, info &

● NATIONAL LGBT DOMESTIC ABUSE HELPLINE at and 0800 999 5428 ● SWITCHBOARD 0300 330 0630 ● POSITIVELINE (EDDIE SURMAN TRUST) Mon-Fri 11am-10pm, Sat & Sun 4-10pm 0800 1696806 ● MAINLINERS 02075 825226 ● NATIONAL AIDS HELPLINE 08005 67123 ● NATIONAL DRUGS HELPLINE 08007 76600 ● THT AIDS Treatment phoneline 08459 470047 ● THT direct 0845 1221200









1 AFFINITY BAR 129 St James’s St, 2 AMSTERDAM BAR & KITCHEN 11-12 Marine Parade, 01273 688 826 3 BAR BROADWAY 10 Steine Street, 01273 609777 4 BEDFORD TAVERN 30 Western Street, 01273 739495 5 ALL NEW BULLDOG 31 St James’ St, 696996 #bulldogBTN 6 CAMELFORD ARMS 30-31 Camelford St, 01273 622386 7 CHARLES STREET TAP 8-9 Marine Parade, 01273 624091 8 FALLEN ANGEL 24 Grafton St, 07949590001 9 GIU & SU CAFÉ & WINE BAR 2 Church St, BN11UJ F I /giuandsu/ 10 GROSVENOR BAR 16 Western Street, 01273 438587 11 LEGENDS BAR 31-34 Marine Parade, 01273 624462 12 MARINE TAVERN 13 Broad St, 01273 681284

13 NAUTILUS LOUNGE 129 St James’s St, 01273 624100 14 PARIS HOUSE 21 Western Rod, 01273 724195 15 QUEEN’S ARMS 7 George St, 01273 696873 16 RAILWAY CLUB 4 Belmont, Dyke Rd, 01273 328682 17 REGENCY TAVERN 32-34 Russell Sq, 01273 325 652 18 THREE JOLLY BUTCHERS 59 North Rd, 01273 608571 19 VELVET JACKS 50 Norfolk Square, 07720 661290 20 LÉ VILLAGE 2-3 High Street, 01273 681634 21 ZONE 33 St James’s St, 01273 682249


11 BASEMENT CLUB (below Legends) 31-34 Marine Parade, 01273 624462 7 ENVY (above Charles St Tap) 8-9 Marine Parade, 01273 624091


















25 GULLIVERS HOTEL 12a New Steine, 01273 695415





14 PARIS HOUSE 21 Western Road, 01273 724195 17 REGENCY TAVERN 32-34 Russell Sq, 01273 325 652 18 THREE JOLLY BUTCHERS 59 North Rd, 01273 608571 19 VELVET JACKS 50 Norfolk Square, 07720 661290 20 LÉ VILLAGE 2-3 High Street, 01273 681634





2 AMSTERDAM BAR & KITCHEN 11-12 Marine Parade, 01273 688 826 6 CAMELFORD ARMS 30-31 Camelford St, 01273 622386 7 CHARLES STREET TAP 8-9 Marine Parade, 01273 624091 23 CUP OF JOE 28 St George’s Rd, 01273 698873 9 GIU & SU CAFÉ & WINE BAR 2 Church St, BN11UJ F I /giuandsu/ 11 LEGENDS BAR 31-34 Marine Parade, 01273 624462 12 MARINE TAVERN 13 Broad St, 01273 681284 24 NEW STEINE BISTRO 12a New Steine, 01273 681546

























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19 30 14






























26 HILTON BRIGHTON METROPOLE 1 Kings Rd, 01273 775 432 11 LEGENDS HOTEL 31-34 Marine Parade, 01273 624462 24 NEW STEINE HOTEL 10/11 New Steine, 01273 681546 27 QUEENS HOTEL 1/3 Kings Rd, 01273 321222


28 BARBER BLACKSHEEP 18 St Georges Rd, 01273 623408 29 DENTAL HEALTH SPA 14–15 Queens Rd, 01273 710831 30 VELVET TATTOO 50 Norfolk Square, 07720 661290




33 BRIGHTON SAUNA 75 Grand Parade, 01273 689966













25 E


34 BARBARY LANE 95 St George’s Rd, Kemptown 35 PROWLER 112 St James’ St, 01273 683680 36 SUSSEX BEACON Charity Shop 130 St James’s St, 01273 682992 37 SUSSEX BEACON Home Store 72-73 London Rd, 01273 680264


38 ENGLEHARTS 49 Vallance Hall, Hove St, 01273 204411














20 5














31 CLINIC M Claude Nicol Abbey Rd, 01273 664721 32 THT BRIGHTON 61 Ship St, 01273 764200



36 1












39 BRIGHTON WOMEN’S CENTRE 72 High St, 01273 698036 40 LUNCH POSITIVE Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Dorset Gardens, 07846 464384 41 RAINBOW HUB 93 St James’s St, 01273 675445