Search icon


26th Feb 2024

‘I was banned from seeing my friends because I was queer – I feel like I can exist in Brighton’

Charlie Herbert

'I was banned from seeing my friends because I was queer - I feel like I can exist in Brighton'

‘Queer joy exists in Brighton’

Ever since a barracks was set up in Brighton at the start of the Napoleonic wars, the south coast city has bloomed into a place where people can come to explore their sexualities and identities safely and discreetly.

In the 2021 census, roughly one in 10 people over the age of 16 in the city identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or “other sexual orientation”, making it officially the gay capital of England.

PoliticsJOE recently went to Brighton to speak to members of the LGBTQ+ community about what it’s like to live in the city.

Along with questions about the current state of the country and the transphobic rhetoric in much of British politics at the moment, people were also asked what it is about Brighton and its identity that make it such a special place to live.

One woman explained that she had grown up in a “really small, very rural, racist, awful town” where she had been “banned from people’s homes” because she was queer.

But she explained that Brighton felt “so welcoming” in contrast, as a place where “queer joy exists.”

“I wasn’t allowed to see my friends,” she said. “And being here is just like, so welcoming and queer joy exists.”

Speaking about her difficult upbringing, she said it was “unfortunate part of the experience” of growing up queer.

“So being able to just, like, exist in Brighton and be queer and have self-expression is insane. You just feel so safe, like it is a lovely little bubble.”

You can watch the full episode of Extreme Britain below, and you can find the rest of the series on the PoliticsJOE YouTube channel here.

Related links:

Ex-BBC editor reveals biases on political programmes

Pensioner expertly breaks down why younger generation will never own homes

Woman perfectly spells out why the UK is a joke for young people