Manchester has the United Kingdom's largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community outside London and is renowned for its Gay Village around Canal Street.
The history of Manchester's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is an important part of the social and cultural history of the city and the North West. Manchester has the United Kingdom's largest LGBT community outside London and is renowned for its Gay Village around Canal Street. It is the home of festivals such as Pride and queerupnorth and of community organisations like the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and the Albert Kennedy Trust, but it wasn’t always like this. The LGBT community has had to campaign for its rights. Just fifty years ago many homosexual acts were illegal and the community was hidden and discriminated against.
Allan Horsfall (1927-2012) was a gay rights campaigner from Lancashire. When the Wolfenden Report was published in 1957 recommending a relaxation of the law against homosexual acts, Allan started a campaign to raise the issue of homosexual equality in the Labour Party and the media. At that time sex between men was illegal.
In 1964 Allan became one of the founders of the North West Committee for Homosexual Law Reform, which became the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 legalised sex between men aged 21 and above. It was the first legal step in an ongoing struggle against discrimination towards the LGBT community.