I am loving the theme of this year’s LGBTQ+ History Month – Poetry, Prose and Plays – and looking forward visiting Queer the Pier, a new exhibition highlighting the rich cultural history of the LGBTQ+ community in the city.
I can’t wait to see the stories of the writers, artists, performers, activists and ordinary people who have made Brighton and Hove so fabulous, brought to life through film and photography, fashion and drag, objects and oral histories.
The exhibition is part of the Be Bold programme, a series of exhibitions and events in collaboration with Brighton and Hove’s LGBTQ+ communities funded by Arts Council England.
We’ve had events like an LGBTQ+ writing workshop with award-winning local writer and playwright Dinos Aristodou.
Coming up, Rose Collis is putting on a show not to be missed at the Jubilee Library called “Forty Years Out (and counting) Performing the archive”.
It doesn’t stop there though. Do go along to the Brighton Museum for “OUTing the Past Festival of LGBTQ+ History” events, including talks on the history of LGBTQ+ activism and struggle for equality.
Brighton and Hove has often been at the forefront of that struggle, hosting one of the biggest Pride weekends in Europe every year and providing the backdrop for the first ever British same-sex marriage.
The Museum will also be running a “Queer Looks” exhibition until March which is worth a visit.
There are further free exhibits in the Jubilee Library, the current one being “The exponent of breadth – Herstory Month portraits”. This is a presentation of portraits of LGBTQ+ people who are conserving, creating and making histories today – which focuses on local women.
From educators, to playwrights and performers, the subjects of these portraits have their work displayed alongside their portraits so you can get to know the stories behind the art.
This month is a time for celebration, and for reflection. Prejudice still exists, even in Brighton and Hove.
But that’s why we must use this month and every month to stand proudly with our LGBTQ+ community who make our city so special.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.