Being LGB or T,(lesbian,gay,bi,trans*) even in these days of progressive equality, can still be an isolating experience if you aren’t fortunate enough to live in a city with a large and visible “Queer” community, even more so if you happen to be the one in “one in three gay people” who experience mental health issues.Brighton’s population of around 155,919 has such a percentage of LGBT people living in this East Sussex resort that it lays claim to the title of “gay capital of Europe”.
Where better, then, for the SpeakUpCIC Thanet LGBT Forum to take an early spring trip in celebration of member Pav’s birthday. Blessed largely with blue skies, our first port of call was the Charles Street Bar where we enjoyed a delicious and great value lunch with Peter, Hove resident and former East Kent User Forum member.
It was then on to the pier for a bracing stroll and Amanda demonstrated considerable skill at the coconut shy, winning a cuddly friend to take home. There's much to see in Brighton, and our group split up and spent the rest of our day trip in different directions. David explored the quirky North Laine area, while Maggie and Amanda sought out the shops (and Maggie returned with a stylish haircut).
Lola, Pav and I visited the museum, discovering much about Brighton’s development from an ancient settlement known as Brightlelmstone. On behalf of us all, I may say a big thank-you to Maggie and Amanda for a treat of a day, and to Lola, Pav and David for all the laughs along the way! For those of us who are the “one in three gay people” who face mental health challenges, this was a real antidote to the “winter blues".
The Gay Forum meets twice a month in Thanet and once a month in Ashford. http://events.speakupcic.co.uk/