Last month saw Peer Action thrusting their collective hips during their outing to the Rocky Horror Show, bringing together all those affected by HIV to meet new mates in a social setting, away from the usual gay scene.
Peer Action’s latest social event for Rocky Horror at the Theatre Royal in Brighton was a successful sell out. The group met at 112 Church Street before moving on to the theatre itself. 20 people in total attended with a mixture of HIV+ and non affected friends and family as well as women and heterosexual couples showing that Peer Action is succeeding in breaking down stigma and isolation.
A great show followed with the whole audience participating in the Time Warp. Afterwards some went home whilst others carried on the evening with drinks and a meal followed by going to the after show party. Comments made were “A great evening, Thanks” and “It was nice to go to the theatre with others in the same situation as me without discussing the topic. Just a fun night out with a great bunch of people” Jimmy: Peer Action.
Peer Action continue to other a wide variety of outings and activities throughout January and February for those living with and affected by HIV.
- Dan’s yoga classes continue to run at St Mary’s Hall, 61 St James Street, on Monday, 14th January and every Monday after. Sessions begin at 6pm and run for one hour. Yoga cost £3.00 per session, No need to book, mats provided.
- 21st January and the 18th Feb see Peer Action at the Gala Bingo Hall for a revisit to their ever popular evening out, a time to make new friends and the chance to win some dosh.
- Peer Action continue to offer a wide range of complimentary therapies by qualified and insured therapist at the extremely low cost of £5.00 on the 26th January and the 23rd February, at THT building, 61 Ship Street, Brighton. Treatments include: No Hands Massage, Energy Healing, Shiatsu, Bowen Therapy and Ear Acupuncture. For more details on times and how to book, please visit the Peer Action website.
- Take some bandages to wrap up your split ribs from all the laughing on you’ll do the Sunday, 3rd February, as Peer Action repeat the popular trip to gay comedy night, Bent Double at the Komedia Brighton with Zoe Lyons on hosting duties and Tom Allen (very funny, Google him) as the headline act. Discounted priced tickets available from Peer Action.
Looking ahead to March, Ian from Peer Action is also organising a trip to Brighton’s annual alternative panto
– ‘Jack and his Big Stalk’ on Sunday 3rd March:
”Join us at the Dome Theatre, Brighton and rekindle the Christmas spirit with an evening of high camp and comedy as we shake Jack’s magic beans and watch his mighty stalk grow. Optional meal beforehand at Donatello’s at 5pm, followed by the performance – those not coming to the meal meet Ian in theatre foyer at 7.15pm. Tickets at the specially reduced price of £16.50 will be available to purchase shortly on the Peer Action website.” Ian, Peer Action.
and finally a message from Jimmi & Mike
Possible new Meditation classes
Peer Action is offering to run a drop in meditation class and we were wondering what you all think. Is it a good idea? How likely would you be to attend? How often should it run? How much should it cost taking into consideration Hall hire and Instructors expenses etc. Please if you are interested in such a class let us know by dropping a quick reply to this email. Your comments and ideas are important to us and help
us provide activities and events you want
For more information on all of Peer Actions activities and how to get involved, please visit www.peeraction.co.uk
Christmas is the giving season and so whilst doing your last minute shopping gifts for friends and family, think about sparing a few moments of time on-line and donating something to charity this Christmas. I’ve compiled a list of LGBT charities in Brighton & Hove for you to consider where you can donate directly via their sites.
The Mayor’s Charities
The Mayor currently supports three Brighton charities: LGBT youth project Allsorts Youth Project, The Martlets Hospice and the Brighton Women’s Centre. There are two events in 2013 that will raise funds for these charities , a quiz night and a variety show– so why not purchase a ticket to one of these and help three local charities at once!
Many of Brighton’s LGBT charities are still reliant on grants to remain sustainable. With grants becoming decreasingly available and increasingly competitive, The Rainbow Fund (initially set up to provide for the AIDS memorial) now supports ‘Pride Brighton & Hove’ and raises funds from the local LGBT community to provide grants to local LGBT and HIV/AIDS organisations. So why not donate and know your money is helping keep Pride as an annual event in the city and is helping support directly local charities from the LGBT community. http://www.sussexgiving.org.uk/how-to-give/donorview.php?id=57
Last year the Sussex Beacon launched an appeal to raise £150,000 to keep its HIV Inpatient Unit open. How about supporting local LGBT group ‘Bear Patrol’ who are entering 22 runners in the Brighton Half Marathon on 17th February.
Team Runners are:
Danny Dwyer, Adam Betteridge, Jonathan Terry, Ian Chaplin, Mark Flood, Shaun Roe, Paul Brown, Robert Taylor, Jason Bramwell, Nicolas Collins, Susan Luxford, Colin Bentley, Martin Still, Margot Uden, Robert Sz, Antonio DaVinci, Lawrence Simpson, PJ Hopper, Ant Pay, Deborah Wolf, David Wilkes & Fiona Coad-Window.
As well as a helpline for those in distress or just wanting up to date information, Switchboard provides face to face counselling service with professionally trained LGBT counsellors.
Rise is a charity which supports women, children, young people and families affected by domestic abuse in Brighton & Hove and across West Sussex including specialist services for those who are LGBT and experiencing domestic abuse.
MindOut is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people. Based in Brighton and Hove, we provide local services such as advice, information, advocacy, peer support group programmes, and a food & allotment project.
http://www.mindout.org.uk/ (scroll to bottom of their home page to donate)
Lunch Positive a community space for everyone with HIV providing enjoyable and quality food that’s well balanced and incorporates a persons ’5 a day’ portions of fruit and vegetables. They also provide information, advice and support with healthy eating and nutrition, as well as information on other local groups and services and run healthy eating and cookery events.
The Carer’s Centre
Through their ReachingOUT initiative the Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove provides information and support to carers from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities supporting those caring for a partner, relative or friend who needs help because of illness, disability, substance misuse or old age.
The Men’s Network
The Men’s Network in Brighton & Hove is a charity committed to creating a city that works for everyone – men and boys included – committed to helping every man and boy in our city to fulfil his greatest potential by taking action to improve men’s health, support dads, help boys do better in school and give children more access to male mentors and role models.
Terrence Higgins Trust
THT provides free condom and lube across the The Scene for the LGBT community. They provide fast HIV testing and offer support, information and peer support groups to those diagnosed as well as campaign the safe sex message.
Ten months ago The L Project released the chart topping charity song “It Does Get Better” with contributions by local lesbian singers. All the proceeds and royalties collected are being donated to Stonewall and Diversity Role Models, both charities who help prevent LGBT bullying in schools. You can help the cause by sharing the Official Music Video from Youtube and download it from iTunes or Amazon now:
****MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ZHOOSH****
This week is national HIV testing week, in a drive to help reduce the spread of HIV and to ensure people live to a ripe old age.
Back in the day, no one wanted to get an HIV+ test as there was no cure and the life expectancy of those who were tested positive was around five years. Thankfully since then there has been huge advancements with protease inhibitors, the medication that stops HIV from reproducing and attacking the immune system.
Many people living with HIV are able to work and live a normal life, knowing that their life expectancy is the same as someone who is HIV-.
It is a simple fact that people are still dying needlessly by getting HIV+ symptoms and then finding it is too late to begin the life saving course of medication. Although the idea of having to take a course of medication everyday for the rest of your life can seem daunting, the medication available has improved greatly with most people only needing to take up to five tablets (in some cases less), once a day.
The two groups who are most at risk of getting HIV are people from African communities and Men who have sex with men. Put simply, if you are in either of these groups, and have not had an HIV test in the last six months then this is your wake up call. Get tested this week.
The Terrence Higgins Trust Brighton will be offering ‘fast testing’ at the THT office, 61 Ship Street, BN1 1AE, from Monday 26th – Thursday 29th 11am -8pm. Walk-in clinic, no need to book
Film Festival starts tomorrow Saturday 11th August 2012 from 12 midday @ Komedia Brighton
Richard Gladman, aka Cyberschizoid and Sarah James (Scare Sarah) are queer, live in Brighton and love horror films and culture!
They have been running classic horror film screenings mainly in London and Brighton for over a year now and have an ever-growing following of LGBT horror fans that have been regularly following and attending their events. Richard & Sarah are unique in the horror industry as two of the few openly “out” people working in this field, writing, promoting and arranging horror film themed events.
Cat People (1942) we feel is of particular interest to our gay and lesbian audience due to the surprisingly overt lesbian subtext in this tale of the supernatural meets sexual oppression – or is that suppression?
‘From the brains behind the Classic Horror Campaign, Cyberschizoid and Scare Sarah present Brighton’s newest annual movie event the FRIGHTEN BRIGHTON CLASSIC HORROR FILM FESTIVAL! Held at Brighton’s premier entertainment venue and new Picturehouse cinema partner, The Komedia, join us for a day of celebrating horror films through the decades – from the terrifying story of obsession in Mad Love right through to the gory insanity of Phantasm!
Look out for exclusive prizes and film merchandise from Hemlock Books and meet our very special guest – presenter of the Horror Channel and star of cult horror films Cradle of Fear and Evil Aliens, the lovely Emily Booth! There will also be an opportunity to network after the films until 11pm at the bar.’
Join for the whole day or just the individual films, but whatever you do, be there and be scared!
Ages: 18 + all shows. £15 all day pass or £5 per film.
12pm – Doors open
Mad Love (68mins) 12:30pm – 1:48pm
Cat People (73mins) 2pm – 3:28pm
Them! (94mins) 3:40pm -5:24pm
Plague of the Zombies (90mins) 5:45pm – 7:25pm
Phantasm (88mins) 7:50pm – 9:28pm
TRANS* EQUALITY SCRUTINY
Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) is carrying out a trans* equality scrutiny. This is where a small group of councillors investigate an issue in detail and make public recommendations for change. Councillors Phelim Mac Cafferty, Denise Cobb and Warren Morgan, along with two independent trans people want to hear from a wide range of trans* people and others with an interest about the issues. They will write a report based on what they hear, making recommendations for action.
LGBT HIP has been commissioned by BHCC to facilitate the involvement of trans* people and others with an interest. There are several ways that you can get involved including online, through the local trans support groups and by contacting the council directly. You can find all the details on our website or on the flyer below but we especially want to draw your attention to the open public meeting. This will take place on Tuesday 10th July, 17.00 – 19.00, Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF. Free snacks and drinks provided. The venue is wheelchair accessible but please let me know in advance if you have any other access needs.
Needless to say, this is going be a crucial meeting for the trans* community locally and a chance to really help shape the council’s equality agenda in relation to trans people, so we’re really hoping for a well-attended meeting. Please do come along and pass on to all your contacts who may be interested. Getting the word out through the social networking sites would also be really helpful.
NEW TRANS* SEXUAL HEALTH CLINIC SESSION
Don’t forget, the first session of the quarterly trans* sexual health clinic session will be on the evening of the 8th of August – so keep the date! Claude Nicol is trying very hard to make itself more accessible to trans* people. This is a pilot to see what the response is from the trans community so let’s show our support, spread the word and take up the services offered. All clinic staff have had trans* awareness training.
We are also looking for two volunteer hostesses or hosts (who may or may not be trans) to greet new arrivals and welcome them to the clinic, as for many this will be a new experience. So if you think you may be interested, please email Ben Castle c/o firstname.lastname@example.org. Full training will be given. We also need to come up with a name for the clinic, so please email your suggestions too.
Sign up to receive regular updates and take part in their surveys, you can enter your details here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LGBT-HIP-SignUp
Nick Douglas is the LGBT Health and Inclusion Project (HIP) Coordinator
“I wanted to give you an update on the Council meeting Tuesday evening. The Council Overview and Scrutiny Commission agreed to carry out a trans equality scrutiny. Councillor Phelim MacCafferty made a brilliant speech in favour as the proposer. Councillor Warren Morgan also gave a strong speech in support, offering to be involved in the scrutiny. Councillor Steph Powell was also keen to endorse the proposals. Importantly, Councillor Tony Janeo made an honest statement that his knowledge of the issues had been limited but explained how his thinking had changed so that he was now in support. We know how much politicians hate so-called u-turns so that was big of him to say.
Overall, the proposal ended up going through unopposed, which hadn’t originally been a foregone conclusion. This was a really good result, not only in terms of the outcome but also in relation to the way that Councillors positively engaged with the issues. Credit also to the Equalities team at the council for their scoping report, which gave some important information and context to the debate. We also need to thank Chair Gill Mitchell for her help in ensuring that the supplemental information that HIP provided was made available at short notice. I also think that the presence of those who came to watch the proceedings at such short notice really made a powerful difference in demonstrating that this was an important issue – thanks to everyone who came and those who lobbied the Commission members in advance.
This was a really good result but now of course the hard work begins to ensure the scrutiny exercise itself is really productive. We need trans people to get involved and really make this work. The Council have put their money where their mouth is and now we as a community need to step up to the plate.
If you want to get involved in the scrutiny work or to know more, please do drop me a line at email@example.com. Mob: 07919 393708 Tel: 01273 764 200 Fax: 01273 764 201
The Overview and Scrutiny Commission Members:
Councillor Gill Mitchell (Chair): gill.mitchell@brighton-hove.
Councillor Tony Janio: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Vanessa Brown: vanessa.brown@brighton-hove.
Councillor Matt Follett: matt.follett@brighton-hove.
Councillor Leo Littman: email@example.com.
Councillor Warren Morgan: warren.morgan@brighton-hove.
Councillor Ken Norman: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Stephanie Powell: stephanie.powell@brighton-
Councillor Sven Rufus: email@example.com.
Councillor Christina Summers: christina.summers@brighton-
A New Year, and may be some New Year resolutions? Here’s Our Top Ten Suggestions…
1. Learn to Dance
“Cheek2Cheek is Brighton and Hove’s only lesbian gay transgender and bisexual Latin American and Ballroom dance club and is still growing since it was set up over 15 years ago. The aim of the club is to provide an alternative to the commercial gay scene with a relaxed and friendly environment in which people can meet and dance together.” The group meets every Tuesday evening with a beginners class at 8:15pm and Improvers at 7:30pm. Web Address: http://www.cheek2cheekbrighton.org.uk/
Cheek to Cheek also are holding their annual New Year Sparkling Ball on January 12th. All welcome and for all dancing abilities! See Zhoosh events for more details.
2. Learn to draw
Lez Artz is a Brighton & Hove Lesbian Group for the Creative Arts that promotes and encourages lesbians to be creative and empowered using a variety of art mediums including songwriting, life drawing, sculpture, drawing, textiles, collage and more. “Our aim is to be welcoming and to learn all sorts of art techniques, inspire each other, explore ideas, build confidence, grow healthier, and especially enjoy being together.” Web Address: http://www.lezartz.com
3. Get sporty
BLAGSS is the Brighton Lesbian and Gay Sports Society offering Badminton, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Football, Golf, Petanque-Boules, Rock Climbing, Rollerblading, Running, Sailing, Skiing, Squash, Swimming, Tai Chi, Tennis, Tenpin Bowling, Walking and Yoga. It caters from the novice and un-fit, to those who are sport-oholics with some talented folk entering the Eurogames. Web Address: http://blagss.org/
4. Learn Backgammon
The Big Gay Backgammon Group (BGBG) meet on Wednesdays in a local pub. It’s a friendly group that say drinks and chat are optional! Contact Natalie or Scott firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Join an (LGBT) W.I.
Put all your stereotypes of W.I’s from out of your head as this one’s got a twist! Get in touch to join in with regular meetings doing creative things; skills swap, baking, crafts. Boys welcome too, can’t guarantee you won’t have to dress up as a woman though! Contact Bex on Zhoosh here.
6. Learn to Sing
There are now a number of LGBT Choirs in Brighton & Hove to choose from:
Actually Gay Men’s Chorus who meet Thursdays. Set up with the specific aim of providing a place where gay men can socialise, have fun and develop their vocal skills from wide ranging musical experience. http://www.actuallygmc.org/
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus who meet Tuesdays and provide a space where people can celebrate music, celebrate their sexuality, enjoy the fellowship of other like-minded people and contribute to the local communities which they part of. http://www.brightongmc.org/
Rainbow Chorus is Brighton’s only LGBT choir who meet Monday’s. They aim to offer an enjoyable, supportive and affirming environment to sing together, and so develop community spirit and awareness, enabling individuals to develop their talents, skills and confidence. http://www.rainbowchorus.org.uk
Actually Gay Women’s Choir who meet Monday’s. Recently formed they aim to provide a friendly atmosphere where you can come and learn some singing skills and take part in performances raising money for charity. http://www.actuallygwc.org
7. Get HIV Tested
THT provides a drop-in, confidential and free rapid HIV testing service at the Brighton office on Ship Street, for men who have sex with men. Tests usually take around one hour, with results given before you leave. You will have a pre and post test discussion with a health adviser. Support and referral is provided for anyone receiving a positive test result. More details on the Zhoosh Directory here
8. Take up Meditation
With the stress of Christmas and New Year, may be it’s a good idea to think about doing something to relieve the tension. The Brighton LGBT Meditation Group has been meeting together for over six years. It is an open, drop-in group suitable for people with no meditation experience. http://www.bodhitreebrighton.org.uk
9. Volunteer for an LGBT organisation
Many of our LGBT groups and services in Brighton & Hove are run and managed by volunteers. They are always in need of new people to come on board as Trustee’s, Committee members or as front-line volunteers helping directly with service users. If you want to give some of your spare time to a good cause check out the Zhoosh Directory and give some of those listed a call and see how you can help them carry on their vital work.
10. Donate to a LGBT Organisation
Often when people think of donating money to charity they forget about local LGBT organisations and services that exist on a shoestring. In 2011 we saw the controversial ticketing of Pride in response to a lack of donations and Switchboard and Sussex Beacon have both been fighting for survival with a number of emergency campaigns to help save them. Check out the Zhoosh Directory and see if there’s a local LGBT charity or organisation that you would like to donate too instead of your usual national charity of choice.
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus is delighted to announce that a total of 1,340 out of 1,400 tickets had been confirmed as sold for their Pull A Cracker Christmas show at the Brighton Dome.
And, as a direct result of this ticket selling bonanza, the Dome Box Office agreed to release just under 100 further seats for sale to the general public. These seats had previously been held back by the Dome, subject to experiencing exceptional demand for the show.
So, with just a few days to go before the December 11th charity show, which includes appearances from guest stars June Brown and Zoe Lyons, all indications are that the show will be a sell out success!
Marking the occasion, a special award was presented to Chorus member Rob Macdonald, who physically sold the 1,200th ticket. Rob is pictured here receiving his award from Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus chairman Stephen Tucker during a recent rehearsal.
Mr Tucker, who also teaches full time at a local school, said “It is a real testament to all the hard work that the Chorus members and our supporters have put in to marketing the Christmas show to friends, families and fans. With all proceeds being shared with the Sussex Beacon, this really is a great way to start the festive season. We are all so excited and very much look forward to putting on a fantastic show!”
The last remaining Dome show tickets are priced at £7.50 and are available to purchase via the Chorus website at www.brightongmc.org or by calling the Dome Box Office 01273 709709.
Although HIV is rarely in the news these days, it is still a big issue, particularly in Brighton, a town that has the highest rate of HIV+ infection outside of London; this is reflected in the many HIV+ support groups on offer, these include:
Lunch Positive, a group run by volunteers, offering a three course lunch every Friday, to all those living with HIV. Doors open at midday for tea coffee and a chat, with Lunch served from 1pm. A three course lunch costs £1.50. New members can either be referred by agencies that work in HIV, or by self referral. Most Fridays Lunch Positive have invited to guest from other organisations to offer advice on issues around HIV, healthy eating and well-being. Throughout the year Lunch Positive run healthy eating and cookery events as well as get involved with many of the LGBT/HIV community events. For more information on how to join Lunch Positive, or to get involved as a volunteer please visit: www.lunchpositive.org.
You can read more about Lunch Positive in my previous blog post when I went to visit them. Click here
Outdoor Positive is a peer led walking group for all those living with HIV and their carers. Throughout the year Outdoor Positive list a range of walking events, from gentle strolls around Brighton’s parks, to longer walks taking in the East Sussex countryside. Outdoor Positive also organise stationary events for those who have mobility problems; meeting up on Brighton Sea front for the, Harley Davison Convention, Vintage Car Rally, Burning of the Clocks. For further details on how to get involved with Outdoor Positive and to check out their next event please visit: www.outdoorpositive.org
You can find out more about Outdoor Positive when I visited them for a previous blog post here
Peer Action, a new group for people over 45 of age living with HIV+ diagnoses. Peer Action’s members come together and support each other through community events, visits to the theater and Gala Bingo Hall. On December the 10th Peer Action joins forces with Outdoor Positive and Lunch Positive to bring together all members for a Fun Quiz Night. In the New Year, Peer Action hope to offer Holistic Therapies and yoga classes and are actively seeking those qualified to help expand their services. If you would like to offer your services or get please visit, peeraction.co.uk
MindOut, a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and trans people, are now running a new group on a Friday morning for people living with an HIV+ diagnoses to come together and share their mental health issues. For more information on MindOut and how to access their servicers please visit: www.mindout.org.uk
Terrence Higgins Trust is a national organization providing a wealth of information on HIV, health, and information on benefits as well as offering counselling and support groups. For more information please visit: www.tht.org.uk/contactus/southeast
You can find out more about the groups and services at THT in my previous post here
Are you trans, transgender, gender queer or questioning your gender identity? There are now a number of groups in Brighton & Hove for you.
Last month was the launch of ’Transformers’, Brighton’s new Trans Youth Network by Allsorts Youth Project for those aged 16-25. It meets the last Wednesday of each month from 5pm to 7.00pm. For more info, contact Allsorts at email@example.com or go to www.allsortsyouth.org.uk
You can also read more here in this guest blog post by Andi Devine from Allsorts.
If you are aged over 18, there are two other groups in the city for you. FTM Brighton is a peer led support and social group for FTM trans people, including but not limited to; transgender men, gender queer people and those assigned female at birth who are questioning their gender identity. You are welcome regardless of surgery or hormone use. Meetings are held the 3rd Saturday of every month. For more information, go to http://www.ftmbrighton.org.uk.
The Clare Project, is a support group for people questioning their gender identity; their partners and friends. They run a drop-in service every Tuesday, 4-7pm on the 1st Tuesday of the month and 2.30 – 5.30 for all other Tuesdays, at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church. At the drop-in there is a therapist who works on a one to one basis and peer-to-peer support with other members of the group. Find out more by going to www.clareproject.org.uk.
The LGBT Health Involvement Project (HIP) is a new initiative in Brighton funded by NHS Brighton and Hove. There are two exciting projects involving local trans people. ‘Clued Up!’ is a special session at the Claude Nicol Clinic to enable trans people to get informed about maintaining their sexual health and give feedback about making services more trans friendly. The session will be run when the clinic is closed to other users and will be a relaxed and non judgemental space to share some food and explore the issues with other trans people and staff. The session will run on Friday 2nd December, 18.30-20.30 at the Claude Nicol Clinic. All trans folk welcome! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
LGBT HIP is also inviting trans people to a consultation about specialist gender identity services in Brighton & Hove. How could things be done differently? What more do trans folk need? To get involved in LGBT HIP, email the Coordinator, Nick Douglas (email@example.com).
You can find out more about Brighton’s new Health Involvement Project (HIP) in this following blog post here
Sunday 20th November marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual memorial service remembering all those who were killed for being themselves. Plans are still to be finalised but it will be held at 3pm, Dorset Gardens Methodist Church with a social event after. There’s more general info about TDoR online at http://www.transgenderdor.org/