Brighton walk raises funds for Stonewall
More than 300 people took to the streets of Brighton last weekend in support of gay, lesbian and bisexual rights.
The fifth annual Equality Walk raised funds for Stonewall, and this year GaydarRadio hosts Dicky and Dolly and comedian Amy Lamé were on hand, hosting a post-walk party at gay venue Legends.
The 10K sponsored walk has become something of a Brighton tradition, and is complimented by a similar fundraising weekend in Barcelona in July.
For the first time participants were awarded medals for completing the walk, which was sponsored by American Express.
The event was opened by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Carol Theobald.
The route, set by the Brighton-based lesbian and gay sports group BLAGSS, took walkers along the sea-front, through Brighton’s gay village and ended with a prize-giving ceremony for the top fundraisers.
The walk raised £32,000 towards Stonewall’s campaign to ensure anti-gay hate crimes are reported with more confidence, and eventually stamped out altogether.
A team of Liberal Democrats including Lewisham councillor Chris Maines and Brighton & Hove councillor Paul Elgood raised £1,137.
“We would like to thank all those who sponsored us including Legends Bar and Revenge Night club,” said Councillor Elgood. “It was a excellent community event, with an important message behind it.”
At the after-party, Ben Summerskill, Stonewall’s chief executive, said that while young lesbian and gay people are a source of constant hope about the future, there are serious problems in schools.
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“In the twenty years since Section 28, designed to demonise and stigmatise every single of us, homophobic bullying was fostered in our schools.
“So much has changed in those twenty years that we can be optimistic.
“Millions of lesbian and gay people have a voice, for the first time in history they have a platform from which their voice can be heard.
“In 2008 we can help leave behind a world better than the one we inherited. in 2008 every single one of us can make a difference.”
Mr Summerskill said that he was heartened to see hundreds of people on the streets supporting Stonewall.
“This fun day is a great way of increasing the visibility of the gay and lesbian community in Brighton and standing firmly together on the issues that really matter to all lesbian and gay people across the country,” he said.