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Southampton is a city and unitary authority in southern England, and a major seaport. It was historically within Hampshire and is still grouped with Hampshire for ceremonial purposes.
Switchboard leaflet 1982

LGBT History

Southampton CHE Group was founded in October 1972 by David Porter [1] The group initially met at Porter's home, then in 1974 at the Anchor in East Street, Southampton. The CHE Conference was held in Southampton in May 1976. On each day of the Conference a special broadsheet newspaper called 'Daily Gay' was published [2]. In October 1976 they held a very successful and well attended event at the Haymarket where Quentin Crisp spoke.In 1978 the group moved to the Joiner's Arms. In 1979 Gay Solent was formed (Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth co-ordinating and producing a regular newsletter).

In about 1981 Southampton CHE established Solent Gay Switchboard. The number was Southampton 37363 and phone lines were available three times a week.
Switchboard leaflet (back)

In 1982 there was a gay disco on Sundays at Nightingales near the Bargate [3]. At that time a Gay Youth Group met in Southampton on Sunday afternoons [4].

The Edge claims to be Southampton's only gay nightclub, operating since 1995.[5]

In 2012 there was a campaign to hold a Southampton Pride[6]. Pride was held in Southampton 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Basement Boys is a group for trans men in and around Southampton.[7]


  1. Gay Solent. Newsletters of the Gay Groups of Southampton, Winchester and Portsmouth. Held in the LSE Hall Carpenter Archives Ref HCA/CHE/7/55. Issue 41 Sept 1982 has an article by Phil King 'Ten Years of Southampton CHE'
  2. Copies in the LSE Hall Carpenter Archives HCA/CHE8/29
  3. Gay Solent Newsletter no 43 Nov 1982
  4. Gay Solent Newsletter no 44 Dec 1982,and 'Gay Youth' No 1 page 3 (June 1981) which states 'In Southampton the gay youth group emerged at the same time as the gay soc collapsed'.