11 LGBTQ+ people explain why Brighton & Hove Pride festival is so important to them.
TAYRIS MONGARDI: Brighton Pride.
JAKE GRAF: Love Brighton Pride.
FAY BARRETT: It's my favorite of the Prides.
ROSIE TURNER: It's just a vibe. It's a whole world down there.
ANEESA CHAUDHRY: When I went to my first ever pride, I was absolutely petrified.
JAKE GRAF: It felt different to pride in London.
GARY PARGETER: I was a bit apprehensive. I wasn't quite sure who'd be there.
TAYRIS MONGARDI: I definitely had some nerves and some reservations.
MELANIN MONROE: Not sure how I would feel.
JOE DAVIN: I was definitely nervous. I didn't even know what to expect. I didn't know if I'd fit in.
DOUG FALKNER: The feeling that I had was excitement.
JOE DAVIN: I always had some sort of insecurities around fitting in with other queer people, but it was fine. The vibe was amazing. Everyone was friendly. And yeah, it was lovely.
DOUG FALKNER: I knew that Brighton is a really inclusive place, so I was just really excited to see how I was going to do Pride.
JENNY BARRIFF: It was uplifting to be surrounded by so many who were really just like me. And I found that quite relaxing actually because I felt I was amongst friends.
MARK VESSEY: I'd never seen so many people through different walks of life, different ages in one place celebrating ourselves.
ROSIE TURNER: When I got down there, like the vibe was just really cool and it just feels really inclusive.
FAY BARRETT: From the smallest children up to the elderly. And it was just such a beautiful inclusive community feel.
ANEESA CHAUDHRY: Just feeling this overwhelming sense of belonging.
JAKE GRAF: And it just feels incredible to look around and see lots and lots of people just like you. Just as diverse and beautiful and fabulous as you. It really, really is a true feeling of inclusion and acceptance that you don't get anywhere else.
TAYRIS MONGARDI: I think Brighton Pride is really the culmination of joy and experience and wisdom and richness.
ROSIE TURNER: The moment that you're sort of there, you immerse yourself in this whole like queer land, which is really lovely.
MELANIN MONROE: Colorful, loud, beautiful.
MARK VESSEY: And it was just such an electric atmosphere.
ROSIE TURNER: I just wasn't expecting it to kind of come alive so much.
TAYRIS MONGARDI: The street festivals, the community, the parades.
ROSIE TURNER: The festival.
JAKE GRAF: All the bars that light up on St. James Street the night before.
DOUG FALKNER: And there's the village party. And then there's just a slew of house parties.
MELANIN MONROE: There's educational bits as well as a lot of queens will tend to put more history into their act. I certainly do.
JAKE GRAF: The park that turns into like this incredible fairground/ concert arena/ party area. I mean, it is just incredible.
MELANIN MONROE: I like to talk about Bellari, which is technically a dead language.
JOE DAVIN: I think Pride first and foremost should be a protest. I think that's predominantly what it is. It's a reminder that we have had to fight for our rights and we continue to do so.
GARY PARGETER: The campaigning side of Brighton pride is really important. It seems to be the one time of the year that we as a community actually have a say in what we feel is important to campaign about and what to advocate for.
ANEESA CHAUDHRY: If you buy a ticket for Brighton Pride, then you know that 1 pound of that ticket goes to what is called the Rainbow Fund here in Brighton.
GARY PARGETER: Rainbow Fund is a Brighton-based charity that gives funds to LGBTQ and HIV projects and community groups. It's an incredibly important funder for us because it understands our work and it understands the local needs. And Pride as a major contributor to the Rainbow Fund each year has a huge impact on our work. We won't be able to provide our work without the input of the Rainbow Fund and the contributions through Brighton Pride.
ROSIE TURNER: So my tips for going to Brighton Pride are take a bottle of water.
JOE DAVIN: Drink water.
TAYRIS MONGARDI: Water.
MELANIN MONROE: Water.
JAKE GRAF: Water.
MARK VESSEY: Water.
DOUG FALKNER: Bring a water bottle.
DANIEL HARDING: Make sure you eat.
JAKE GRAF: And make sure you've got some glitter.
JENNY BARRIFF: I think Brighton Pride is basically a celebration. It's something that you'll only feel if you go there. And it's about acceptance of diversity. It's about inclusion. All those things and you'll see that when you're there. That makes it a big impression on one. It did with me and it will do so again.