The homo and the creative

2 06 2011

by: Ha mh Thai

“Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race”

Richard Florida

The idea that makes me decided to search for a gay city comes from Richard Florida as he find out that the places with highest concentration of gays are also favorite place for the creative (as they are both ‘non-standard’). The list of places is quite long including Manchester, Brighton (UK), Los Angeles, California, Chicago (US), Sydney, Cape Town, and so on.

Brighton Festival Open House (2007)

Brighton Festival Open House (2007)

Within the limitation of this post, I will highlight some findings about City of Brighton & Hove (East Sussex, UK). Brighton acts as a magnet for lesbians and gay men from all over the world attracted to its bohemian atmosphere, open minded attitudes and raffish air. Brighton has now long been known as Britain’s number one gay resort. The art community in Brighton is extensive and is showcased once a year by the artist’s open house event during the Brighton Festival. On the beach, the famous Brighton Artists Quarter is located between two piers. Rows of Victorian fisherman workshops which were converted into small galleries and studio spaces accommodate a collection of artists and performers. Throughout the year, thousands of high quality artworks can be viewed, enjoyed or purchased by the general public, bring great benefit to the area.




2 responses

2 06 2011

There is also a very vibrant part of the city centre known as the Laines. Its an area of narrow streets and contrasing vibrant coloured buildings containing a huge array of independent retailers and cafes that attracts Brighton’s diverse population. Its an area that has a huge entreprenerial buzz which adds to the city’s attractiveness. One of my favourite shops is ‘Snoopers Paradise’ – a second hand shop literally selling an Aladdin’s Cave of items dating back years (and bringing me back to my Youth).

In the first week of August, Brighton celebrates Pride with a huge festival at Preston Park which attracts both gay and straight people. The event’s key objective is to not only to celebrate gay culture, it goes wider to promote diversity. I’ve enjoyed the several times that i have been to the event sitting under a tree all day having a picnic with friends, drinking fizz and watching the world go by. Sadly, due to cutbacks the event will not longer be free with charges tiered on the basis of whether or not you’re a Brighton resident. This contradicts the ‘open’ spirit of the event, as it discriminates against based on their income and where they live. So to celebrate Pride this year we will simply be having a picnic and drinking fizz to enjoy the vitality of the Pride weekend elsewhere in the city.

2 06 2011

Charging for public events held in public space never sounds right. I am putting a link to Manchester Pride 2011 web site. They started charging since 2003 and it seems like it could be £20 for entering the ‘gated event’.
I guess there are many factors and situations brought about this change of event which used to be public march to celebrate certain minority groups’ pride. The events are being sustained by sponsors and entrepreneurial governance in many cities. Also, the characteristics of the march are becoming more of commercialised fun. They have reasons and excuses for this according to the web pages and I think they are being honest about the situation. However, still, there is this critical contradiction between charging that amount of money and attempting to build more inclusive society.

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