London Borough of Croydon
Archbishop John Whitgift's name is forever associated with Croydon. Havelock Ellis and Roberta Cowell were born in the town, and Georgina Somerset and Derren Brown were born in Purley. Jessie J and Sue Perkins went to school there, and D H Lawrence taught there. Hope Powell captained the Croydon team that won the FA women's cup in 1996.
There have been one or more gay or LGBT groups in the Borough since 1971.
In 2003 the Mayor of Croydon launched an anti-homophobia poster on the side of trams on two Tramlink routes.
General gay/LGBT groupsLondon Group Seven of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality was founded in 1971 but was soon renamed Croydon CHE Group. When the various CHE groups were split from the parent organisation it became Croydon Area Lesbian and Gay Society (CALGS) and subsequently Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS). It celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 with a party at a local gay venue, and a reminiscences session in a pub in central Croydon. CAGS has a variety of social events every month, an open meeting alternate months, and an active tennis group, playing every Sunday throughout the year.
CAGS sponsors the Rainbow Reading Group, together with Croydon Libraries.
Forums and Networks
The Croydon LGBT Forum, set up in 1997 (as the Croydon Lesbian and Gay Forum) operated until 2006. In 2007 it was replaced by the Croydon LGBT Network, later renamed Crocus, but Crocus was wound up in 2015.
Aurora, Croydon's LGBT Police Consultation Group, has been meeting on alternate months since 2003.
The Croydon Anti Homophobia Local Strategic Partnership and its website Croydon Anti Homophobia Action were operating around 2002.
A previous web portal, set up by Croydon Health Promotion in 2002, was called Croydon Pride.
A group called "Insight" was set up around 2008 to provide support for LGBT victims of hate crime, but it is thought to no longer exist.
HIV and AIDS
The ACE Centre (AIDS Care and Education) operated for several years in its own premises in Croydon and later Mitcham, providing support for people affected by HIV, with several members of the local gay community in leading roles.
The Gemini support group had its base in Croydon.
Asylum seekersRainbows Across Borders was founded in 2013 as a Croydon-based support group for LGBT asylum seekers. Many of its members have been gay and lesbian people from Uganda.
Croydon Friend was set up to provide a counselling and befriending service, with regular telephone help sessions and other activities. It lasted from 1973 to 2001, by which time the need for such a service had been much reduced.
Croydon Area Gay Youth (CAGY) flourished for a number of years, generally working in partnership with CAGS (the two groups shared a chairman for about a year). Croydon Gay 20s and 30s lasted for a short time, but never attracted many members, and Crocus had for a while an offshoot called Crocus 18-30.
In the early 21st century there was a group called "Cygnet", later renamed "OMO Youth" for the under-25s, organised by Croydon Council Youth Service. It has since been replaced by The Bridge, an LGBT youth club meeting weekly.
At one time there were a number of gay venues in Croydon, including The Croydon in St George's Walk (long boarded up, but now re-opened as "The Odd Shoe" and claiming to be gay-friendly), the Goose and Carrot (demolished), the Hollybush (Crystal Palace), PJs in Thornton Heath, the Duke of Clarence in South Norwood. The Star in West Croydon, although not gay, was the location for a very successful series of discos which raised money for the Croydon CHE Group. It has since been renamed the Broad Green Tavern.
Events have been held in Croydon since 2006 for LGBT History Month and for IDAHO, for the Trans Day of Remembrance since 2011, and for Black History Month in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The IDAHO event for 2014 was branded "One Love".
A Croydon Pride event was held in 1993, but failed to become a regular event. A Croydon Pride event was suggested for 2014. but this came to nothing. However a Croydon PrideFest is being organised for August 2016.
- http://www.lgbt-croydon.org.uk LGBT Croydon: web portal for the local groups.
- http://www.croydononline.org/images/living/gdirectory.pdf. Accessed: 2013-04-14. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6Frz2E6q8) Croydon Online's directory of LGBT resources in Croydon. Very out of date (2002) but of historical interest.
- http://web.archive.org/web/20120716035258/http://www.lgbtlondon.com/borough/croydon Borough profile on LGBT London: archived as at 16 July 2012 on the Web Archive.
- http://www.museumofcroydon.com/lgbt Croydon Museum's LGBT History Trail.
- http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Croydon-welcome-openly-gay-mayor-Wayne-Trakas/story-28607400-detail/story.html Samantha Booth, "Croydon to welcome first openly gay mayor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor this year". Croydon Advertiser, 26 January 2016
- Out of the Shadows, Chapter 6, "The Croydon Group, 1971–",
- https://web.archive.org/web/20120907170402/http://www.croydononline.org/images/living/gdirectory.pdf Croydon online: Archived version as at September 2012
- http://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2015/04/gayeastlondon-croydon/ Joel Watson, "GayEastLondon: Where is Croydon’s gay community?". East London Lines, 2 April 2015. Accessed: 2016-03-12. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6fxt8XWIP)
- http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Time-bring-gay-pride-festival-Croydon/story-19668074-detail/story.html#axzz2c8N5zuyl Andrew Jameson, "Time to bring gay pride festival to Croydon" Croydon Advertiser, 16 August 2013.