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It’s the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 which legalised male homosexuality.

The landmark anniversary has given pride celebrations even more meaning than usual this year, and to mark the occasion, the BBC asked gay rights activist Simon Fanshawe to examine the journey to gay equality in the UK through the history of his hometown of Brighton.

The 30 minute documentary looks back at the events that led up to the momentous moment in LGBT+ history, and investigates how attitudes towards our community have changed since.

“Those who helped win the battle in 1967 could never have imagined that this celebration in Brighton could have been the result. It’s got the highest number proportionally of lesbians and gays in the UK,” says Fanshawe in the documentary.

“England is liberated now. But Brighton is liberated with a capital ‘L’ and that’s why I love it,” he adds. “At pride, just for a day, it feels a long way from the continuing struggle for equality”.

Director of Brighton Pride Paul Kemp also explains the relevance of Brighton’s legendary pride celebrations in the documentary.

He says: “People say what’s the point of it. But there’s a lot more to do. There’s people dying around the world for being LGBT+. Even in our own country there’s a lot of homophobia.”

You can watch Brighton Pride: 50 Years of Gay on BBC iPlayer right now. 

Brighton Pride is on this Saturday (August 5th) and will have performances from the likes of Fleur East and Years & Years. 

 

 

 

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