LGBT Croydon

Resources and support groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans people in the London Borough of Croydon

Black History Month, October 2010

Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS) organised a number of events in Croydon during October 2010 to celebrate the lives of Black LGBT people, as part of Croydon Council's “Croydon Celebrates Black History” programme:

We produced a leaflet about the events: click here to download a copy: (PDF, 5Mb) – and see the CAGS press release reporting on some of these events.

And there's an interesting interview on the Croydon Council site.

We acknowledge the support of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) and Croydon Council, in putting on these events.

For additional resources about Black LGBT people, see the Black History Month page on the LGBT History Month page.

For national Black and minority ethnic LGBT groups, see the BME Links page on the Aurora Croydon website.

Exhibition: “Ethnic Minorities Coming Out”

Photo of a black woman

2nd–5th October 2010

Space C Gallery
The Clocktower Centre
Katharine Street

Free admission

Sonalle photography logo
UnLtd logo
Arts Council England logo
CAGS logo
London Councils logo
Consortium logo

Coming out can be painless for some, but stressful and even traumatic for others.

Through the combination of powerful imagery and text, Sonalle Photography delves into the complexities of how ethnic minority lesbian, gay and bisexual people reveal their sexual orientation for the first time to themselves and those around them.

Sonalle says “As an Indian British-born female, I am aware of the difficulties of coming out in ethnic minority societies. Family members and friends often suffer through their own narrow-mindedness and this leads them to hurt or reject the person coming out.”

Images for this project were produced between May and July 2009. Sonalle Photography’s previous awareness increasing projects have included domestic violence and squatting.

See for exhibition images and information.

The project has been funded by UnLtd and Arts Council England.

This exhibition has been organised by Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS) with support from the BME LGBT Network and the Consortium as part of their London Councils Funded work.

(Image and Sonalle logo © Sonalle Photography)

Event date: 
Saturday, 2 October 2010 - 9:00am to Tuesday, 5 October 2010 - 8:00pm

Silver Rainbow coffee morning

Silver Rainbow for older lesbians and gay men in Croydon

10 am, 4 October 2010

The Clocktower Café
Katharine Street

Croydon’s social group for older gay and lesbian people visits the Clocktower exhibition “Ethnic Minorities Coming Out” and then meets over coffee in the Clocktower Café.

Silver Rainbow began as a lunch club for older lesbian and gay people, to provide accessible day-time social activities. It has broadened out to include a wider range of activities and venues. This is the first time it has arranged a visit to an exhibition, and the Clocktower provides an ideal venue, with a moving and thought provoking display in photography and words.

For contact details phone 07594 572623 or see

Event date: 
Monday, 4 October 2010 - 10:00am

Reception with speakers

Rev Jide McAulay

7pm, 4 October 2010

Space C Gallery
The Clocktower Centre
Katharine Street

Free admission

LGBT and BME people are being invited to this reception to network, and to hear the photographer and other speakers.

If you are interested in minority ethnic and/or lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender issues in the Croydon area, this is an opportunity to meet others with similar concerns.
Sonalle will speak about her work and how it reflects the difficulties BME people can often face when coming out. The Rev Jide McAulay, founding pastor of House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Lagos Nigeria, will speak from the perspective of a black, gay, Christian minister.

Event date: 
Monday, 4 October 2010 - 7:00pm

The Brief Encounter with Linda Bellos

Linda Bellos

8pm, 5 October 2010

The Brief
48 George Street

Free and open to all.

CAGS logo
The Brief Encounter

Linda Bellos OBE is a black, Jewish, lesbian activist, former leader of Lambeth Council and originator of Black History Month UK.

The Brief Encounter is a bi-monthly speaker event, open to all, which has presented important speakers on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

Linda Bellos is an experienced, effective and respected campaigner on black and minority ethnic issues as she is on lesbian, gay and bisexual and many other equalities issues.

She is sought after as a speaker on equalities and conflicts between ethnic minorities; lesbian, gay and bisexual people; and religious issues from personal experience, and from a professional perspective. She is a director of Diversity Solutions Consultancy Ltd, a specialist equality and diversity company which she formed in February 2002.

The Brief Encounter is the title of the series of speaker events run by Croydon Area Gay Society, and has presented several distinguished and entertaining speakers.

Event date: 
Tuesday, 5 October 2010 - 8:00pm

Film: Beyond Labels

Beyond Labels

8pm, 12 October 2010

The Bird in Hand
291 Sydenham Road

Free admission

GMFA the gay men's health charity
Big Up
CAGS logo
Consortium logo
Big Lottery Fund

Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS) has arranged a special showing of the film Beyond Labels. The event is open to everyone interested in the issues affecting Black gay men in the UK today.

Beyond Labels aims to explore how racism, homophobia, HIV and issues around immigration all have an impact on the construction of a healthy identity for Black gay men.

Beyond Labels is directed by Jaime Sylla, project manager for GMFA’s Big Up project and produced by GMFA with the support of the Big Lottery Fund. It premiered at London’s Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in March this year. Thanks to the LGBT Consortium and the BME LGBT Network for their assistance in facilitating this event

The film explores Black gay male experience in London, from Gay Lib pioneer Ted Walker Brown to more recent arrivals on the scene. Tales of friendship and support underlie an investigation into the creation of a sense of community.

Big Up works with volunteers, most of whom are Black gay men, to help develop its projects. These volunteers helped conceive and develop many of the themes explored in Beyond Labels.
Croydon Area Gay Society, founded 1971, is Croydon’s leading social organisation for gay men and lesbians.

GMFA is the UK’s leading gay men’s health charity. For more information on HIV, AIDS and safer sex for gay men, visit

Big Up is GMFA’s project targeted specifically at Black gay men.

Event date: 
Tuesday, 12 October 2010 - 8:00pm

Launch of the Rainbow Reading Group

Rainbow Reading Group poster

2:30pm, 28 October 2010

Croydon Library
Katharine Street

Are you ‘Wilde’ about books? Croydon Libraries would like to start a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender Reading Group which will meet monthly at the Central Library.

The first meeting is planned for Thursday October 28 at 2.30 on Level One. If you are interested in leading or participating in book group discussions, and making new friends please contact: Jane Richardson, Adult learning and Information Services Manager on 020 8726 6900.

We plan to start the reading group with Giovanni's Room, the gay-themed novel by James Baldwin, the outstanding Black American gay author.

Event date: 
Thursday, 28 October 2010 - 2:30pm

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