Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus

Chorus comes out despite rain on Pride parade

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Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus stood shoulder to shoulder with other community groups against the elements on Saturday morning. The Pride community parade assembled on Hove lawns with the chorus boys feeling the full force of storm Antoni as it pounded the Sussex coast. It was the wettest start to the city’s annual Pride celebrations for over twenty years.

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus

Image by Nick Ford Photography

BrightonGMC’s parade float took to heart the Pride organisers’ call: “Dare to be different!” Using the pink triangle and black text stylings of the campaign to abolish Section 28, the float celebrated 20 years since the law change which legalised being different in UK education.

In 2003, the Labour government finally repealed Section 28. For 15 years, this vindictive and disabling law banned local authorities and schools from “promoting” homosexuality. Introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in 1988, Section 28 also banned schools and councils from “teaching the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship,” and from publishing any material which promoted homosexuality.

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus members include many current or past teachers, who can now be positive and diverse role models in schools. They’re also able to give LGBTQIA+ students appropriate support and relationships education. This is something that the hostile educational environment of Section 28 denied to a whole generation and which is now being replicated by “Don’t say gay” laws elsewhere.

37 chorus members individually styled in pink and black costumes sang out against Storm Antoni’s equally punishing weather on Saturday, celebrating queer lives and identities and bringing carnival energy and smiles to spectators lining the parade route. Yes, numbers were a fraction of the usual crowds, but those who overcame both the elements and the rail company’s train cancellations were not disappointed.

A week earlier, the chorus had opened the Pride celebrations with their show OUT! This heartwarming coming out tale about an inner storm of thoughts and emotions was performed to packed audiences and raised funds for fellow LGBTQ+ charity akt. And as this year’s queer “Christmas” begins to fade into memory, BrightonGMC now turn their attention to their winter season and Christmas show Sing-deralla at Brighton Dome on Saturday, 2 December.

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus always welcomes new members and their next taster evening is on Tuesday, 12 September. Anyone wondering about adding their voice to the country’s largest gay men’s chorus outside London is welcome to attend and try it for themselves! Simply contact for more details. As a community chorus, there’s no audition and the chorus director will help you find the right section for your voice. You’ll be paired with an experienced member as a buddy for the evening, get the feel for a typical rehearsal and find out what the chorus’s three ‘S’es – singing, socialising and support – are all about.

While Brighton Pride may come but once a year, the support that community groups offer to help LGBTQIA+ people live our everyday lives continues year round. This is often through a combination of the networks, skills, talents and sense of belonging which are nurtured by groups such as Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus. They form a vital part of the community space which helps people from all backgrounds and of all identities to flourish.

Source: Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus (

Photo Credit: Image by Nick Ford Photography

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