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Essex is a county in the East of England. The county council area contains 12 local government districts, and the ceremonial county also includes the unitary authorities of Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea.

Part of the historic county of Essex became part of Greater London in 1965 (and the south-western corner of this had already been absorbed into the County of London).

Essex Police covers the area of the ceremonial county.

LGBT history

Essex Gay Youth Helpline was set up in June 1983 and run from the Barking flat of Steven Power.[1].

Essex Gay Youth Helpline letter heading 1984

Essex Pride has been held annually in Chelmsford since 2003.[2] In 2021 a report by barrister Akua Reindorf concluded that the University of Essex had breached the rights to freedom of expression of Professor Jo Phoenix (Open University) and Professor Rosa Freedman (University of Reading) because of preconceptions about their views on trans rights and gender identity.[3]


  1. Courage to Be: Gay Youth in England 1967-90 by Clifford Williams (2021: The Book Guild Ltd.)
  3. The University was in breach of its statutory duty to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for visiting speakers (s.43 of the Education Act (No. 2) 1986 s.43(1)), its own Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom policy, its regulatory obligations, its duties under charity law and potentially the Public Sector Equality Duty. Reindorf found that the university had adopted policies which reflect “the law as Stonewall would prefer it to be, rather than the law as it is”, and created a “culture of fear”. A spokeswoman from Stonewall defended their policies as being “based on guidance provided by the Equality and Human Rights Commission“ and Stonewall chief executive Nancy Kelley said “Stonewall was not involved in any discussions with Essex University about the cancellation of academic talks.”