According to the census, individuals residing in the Essex district were found to be six times less inclined towards identifying as gay as compared to those residing in the East Sussex city.

Where is the gay capital of England?

Brighton and Hove, long considered the unofficial gay capital of England, can now proudly wear the official crown. According to the 2021 census, one in 10 people aged over 16 in the city identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or “other sexual orientation”.


Around 10% of Brighton’s overall population identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

This figure matches the estimates made decades ago based on the research of Alfred Kinsey, a US professor from the 1940s who argued that homosexuality was far more prevalent than official sources acknowledged.

Gay culture in Brighton

Culture is likely to play a significant role in the differing levels of LGB+ identification between Rochford and Brighton. Unlike Rochford, Brighton has a long-standing history of pioneering gay rights, from its gay bars and clubs to its annual Pride festival. The city recently bid farewell to George Montague, a 98-year-old gay rights campaigner who had been fighting for decades. Brighton and Hove City Council has a range of initiatives to support the LGBT+ community, including an LGBT workers’ forum, “my pronouns” campaign, and an LGBT helpline.


According to gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Brighton’s vibrant LGBT+ community, extensive support organizations, and liberal public attitudes make it an attractive place for LGBT+ individuals to live. People feel safe and comfortable in Brighton, and they feel more able to be out and visible. However, Tatchell acknowledges that despite the generally gay-friendly atmosphere, there is still a problem with gay-bashing attacks. He said, ““Brighton has a huge amount of LGBT+ venues and community support organisations that makes it a very very attractive place for LGBT+ people to live,

“Public attitudes are more liberal than other parts of Britain so people feel safe and comfortable. They also feel more able to be out and visible. But this also makes them targets. Despite the generally more gay-friendly atmosphere, there is still a problem with gay-bashing attacks.”

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Paul Kemp, managing director of Brighton and Hove Pride, said that the city has always been a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals who seek a community of like-minded spirits. Many LGBTQ+ individuals come to Brighton to study at the university and decide to stay due to its supportive and inclusive environment.

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