Gscene Magazine started life in 1993 as a four page insert stapled into the centre of Impact Magazine, a generic listings magazine for Brighton and Hove. Originally called ‘The Queer Guide’, Brighton was not quite ready for the ‘Q’ word in 1993 and the name of the magazine was changed to Gscene in 1995.
During the 90s Gscene successfully campaigned to improve services for people with HIV in Brighton and Hove and played a pivotal role in 1997 helping commission the community led needs assessment, Project Zorro which resulted in the refocusing of HIV prevention funding in Brighton and Hove. Grants of £5,000 were made available to community groups to deliver HIV prevention message in community settings. It was the start of the development of Brighton’s wider LGBT voluntary sector who had been starved of statutory funding since 1990 by the local Labour administration.
In 2002, the editor of Gscene magazine sat on the steering group of the groundbreaking Anti Victimisation Initiative (AVI). The AVI was a partnership project between Brighton & Hove Council, Sussex Police, The Probation Service, The Women’s Refuge, The Racial Harassment Forum and the LGBT Community Safety Forum. The project dealt with homophobic issues, racial issues and domestic violence.
In 2006 Gscene was instrumental in persuading Sussex Police to appoint a dedicated LGBT police liaison officer for the first time in Brighton & Hove. It was a pivotal moment in the rebuilding of relationships between Sussex Police and the LGBT community in Brighton and Hove which had broken down in 2005.
During the last ten years Gscene has helped reclaim Brighton Pride as an event to first and foremost raise money for LGBT community organisations delivering front line services to the LGBT community in Brighton & Hove.
In 2009 working with Cllr Paul Elgood, leader of the Lib Dem group on Brighton & Hove Council, Gscene ran the fundraising campaign to help fund the building of the Brighton AIDS Memorial ‘Tay’.
The Rainbow Fund was created from money left over after the memorial was completed and over the last two years has given £75,000 in grants to LGBT organisations in Brighton and Hove provide essential front line services to the LGBT community.
The Rainbow Fund is managed completely independently by the Sussex Community Foundation who manage the Rainbow Fund’s annual grants program.