Being Gay in Brighton

I feel I am fortunate to have been born in Brighton. Many naturally right-wing or extreme left-wing people who are not exposed to homosexuals have a default position of fear... A fear of the unknown. For this reason I have always understood, if not agreed with, homophobia far more than racism (which isn't even a hatred/fear of the unknown so much as a hatred/fear of someone who looks different).

So I am pleased to have been brought up in Brighton so that I can look at the world with rational rather than bigotted eyes. Bear that in mind before you jump to criticise Brighton when you read what I am about to say. Yes, Brighton has a large gay community, but that's a great thing.

I heard the saddest thing on the radio last night: A caller named 'Martin' said that he is definitely gay -- he is 33 and has been open since he was 17 or 18. But now he is considering striking up a straight relationship because he cannot find the companionship he yearns for on the 'scene'.

It seemed to me that the 'scene' is not the best place to start long-term relationships and he hinted at that when talking -- but he didn't know where to go to find a gay partner rather than just sex.

I hope he knows, having spoken to the DJ and the station's researcher, that this is not the solution -- he cannot be honest with himself and any future female partner if he succumbs to what he considers "normal". What unfair social pressure there is.

Now for you who do not live in Brighton and don't know Daffyd in Little Britain, not all gay men are accurately portrayed by the stereotype you may get from seeing Gay Pride on the news, or some of the dodgy open-air shows you see in Blackpool...

Oh, and for clarity I am straight.


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