It examines of the impact of UK equalities initiatives on the lives of LGBT people and LGBT activism, and presents that alongside many positive changes, there are LGBT people who still feel marginalised and excluded in contexts such as support services and on the scene. It reveals that place matters in how social change happens: although Brighton was feted as the gay capital of the UK, it did not fulfil this ideal for all LGBT people. This failing to match the city's branding and legislative requirements provided a bargaining tool that LGBT activists used to press for more progressive policies and practice.
The book draws on the voices of LGBT people who lived, worked and socialised in the city, using data and testimony from questionnaires, focus groups and interviews gathered as part of the award-winning Count Me in Too project which ran from 2005 to 2010. It charts the development of this innovative project in which LGBT people worked with service providers to gather, analyse and present evidence that would promote positive change for LGBT people.
Ordinary in Brighton? is co-written by Dr Kath Browne, the lead researcher on the project and Reader in Human Geography at the a University of Brighton, with Leela Bakshi, an LGBT activist who has worked with Dr Browne on geographies of sexualities research in Brighton. Both live in the city and worked with local LGBT community organisations alongside developing the research project and writing this book.
They say: "This book reflects on learning from the stories, hopes and views entrusted to the Count Me In Too research project, and develops thinking, linking and extending the research literature, whilst seeking to honour the contributions of those who took part."
Members of the public were invited to the book launch where people who connected with the project spoke about the book. The launch was on 23 November at the Friends Meeting House in Ship Street, Brighton.