Monday 9 August 2010

Changing Attitude at Brighton Pride

Changing Attitude Sussex marched with other faith groups on Saturday through the centre of Brighton on Saturday. Our section was led by a Metropolitan Community Church banner, followed by Unitarians, Quakers and a Jewish group with Changing Attitude and LGCM following. We were, as in Manchester last year and Leeds and London this year, greeted enthusiastically.

We were joined by various people as the Parade progressed, people who clearly wanted to identify with us as Christians.

Several of us wore clerical shirts but the presence of dog collars seemed less of a surprise to the Brighton Pride crowd than in Manchester or Leeds - perhaps Brighton has long been used to exotic costumes, making priests unremarkable!

I’m discovering how different Pride celebrations and parades are in different parts of England. Leeds is still comparatively small but the market place and party area is open for all and a lot or personal contact and conversation is possible. The Manchester party is ticket only and more exclusive. Brighton parade is a total contrast. Something like 150,000 people enjoy a huge range of market stalls, food outlets, disco tents and fairground rides at Preston Park. The sound level makes conversation almost impossible but the atmosphere is electric.

At 4pm the church of St John the Evangelist, five minute's walk from Preston Park, the church's 'back garden', held a service to welcome, listen, affirm and value. The church had felt uncomfortable in the past with the way protestors at previous Prides had given a negative impression of Christian attitudes. The service was meditative and healing.

Colin Coward


  1. The noticeable thing about Brighton Pride is the big straight contingent - not just as gawking onlookers, but face painted, dressed up - from the city, and coming in on the train from all points south of Haywards Heath. Yes, it's less of a political event, but it's lovely to see all Brighton thinking 'ooh look, a party' with no trace of a shadow of a hangup about who is throwing it. Post gay begins here?

  2. The exclusion of LGBT people has saddened me for years. I am standing for election to Synod as a lay member on the inclusive issue.


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  4. It was a shame that Changing Attitudes decided not to have a stall and a pity that nobody from Changing Attitudes volunteered to be present in the Interfaith Area to talk to people, pray or bless them throughout the day, clergy/lay. The service at St John's was a little disappointing too, with clergy present there who had not walked in the parade or visited the Interfaith area despite fairly obviously visiting the Park in a private capacity.

  5. I'm sorry I missed it - I would have walked with you as well. I was in Brighton the following Monday. Must try harder next year!