RAINBOW flags were in full flight as communities gathered to mark LGBT+ history month.

Music, fun, celebrations and reflections filled Colors nightclub in Basildon on Friday February 21 and the Jubilee Room at Southend Council offices on Wednesday February 19.

There were plenty of talks about hate crime, the negative views towards the LGBT+ community but it was also time to celebrate major changes.

The event is an observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and that of gay rights and related civil rights movements.

But, despite monumental changes, such as decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK in 1967, campaigners say more must be done.

David Burton-Sampson, mayor of Basildon and organiser of Basildon Pride, said we’ve come some way but so much more is needed.

Mr Burton-Sampson said: “The Basildon event was fantastic and was a celebration with more than 100 people attending.

“We had reflections on history, where we’ve come from and where we have got to get to.

“We had some great drama pieces and real stories and Essex Police came along and supported us. The officers gave a talk about hate crime.

“It’s very important to remember work is needed to promote being LGBT+ is normal and must be more accepted.”

Pics by Gaz De Vere and Essex Police