THERE is an assumption that young LGBTQ+ people today feel a sense of community in Brighton,” says Juliette Buss. “But our initial consultations with some of these people showed that’s not necessarily true.”

She is referring to the research carried out for Into the Outside, a multi-media project that aims to chart LGBTQ+ identity in the city over the past 40 years. A core group of 20 young people embarked on this exploration, delving into numerous archives and surveys along the way, with the final intention of displaying their work at the Jubilee Library.

Juliette, learning and participation curator at Photoworks, the group behind the project, points out that for those in the process of identifying and coming to terms with their sexuality a sense of belonging or community can be hard to come by.

“What is quite noticeable in the work is a feeling of isolation you might not have expected. Many of our participants are very young and just starting to get grips with it [their sexuality].”

The exhibition merges the “very honest” stories of today’s young LGBTQ+ people with survey answers and first-hand recollections from older members of the community. One participant, Charlie Snow, who gave a powerful speech at the exhibition’s launch, noticed one positive change in today’s climate compared to that of the 1970s and 1980s.

“Some of the older people made comments about how nice it is to see us younger people saying the pronouns we go by before we say our name,” says Charlie, 22. “That isn’t something they’d ever heard before. I hadn’t thought about it before but I suppose it shows progress.”

The general thing that struck Charlie upon hearing the experiences recorded in the archives was that “people were always trying to be positive about who they were”.

Charlie’s work centres around postcards featuring definitions of various LGBTQ+ terms like “intersex” and “androgynous”. The work is bold, but we should probably expect nothing less from the person who, inadvertently, came out to their parents in a previous art display.

“I had made a photo album of my first year at university [in Brighton], which included moments like my first Pride Festival. My parents have been great about it and can’t wait to come to this exhibition. There will be a few less surprises this time.”

Into the Outside: The Next Chapter Jubilee Library, Brighton, until Sunday, March 19, From 10am, free, for more information call 01273 290800 or visit