Gay Surrey archives

Gay Surrey logoThe archives of the charity Gay Surrey were deposited with Surrey History Centre in April 2009 and their records are stored alongside thousands of ancient parish registers, maps, photographs and other items held in the Centre’s purpose built archive strongrooms.

The charity’s records were the first of their kind to be deposited at the Centre as Di Stiff, Collections Development Archivist explains, “As the official custodians of Surrey’s history we feel it is important to preserve all areas of the county’s written heritage and the records of Gay Surrey are a vital part of this. We want our archive collections to develop in a way that reflects Surrey’s diversity and encourage the public to explore wider aspects of the county’s rich heritage.”

What is Gay Surrey?


Set up in 2005, Gay Surrey started out as a group of friends and in less than four years has turned into a countywide success story. After acquiring charitable status, Gay Surrey expanded its activities to undertake projects, youth work and partnership working with public bodies such as Surrey Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Health Service.

The charity aims to support the gay community (otherwise LGBTQ+, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (or questioning) and others) in the county: by providing a portal for social networking, information and advice, primarily through its website by advocacy for the Gay community in equality issues; by safety campaigns against hate crimes; and by awareness raising and social events. The members of the charity have developed their own areas of expertise and interests so that the organisation now embraces almost all aspects of gay living.

Chairman and founder member of the charity is Gino Meriano, gay rights activist. Gino played a key role in campaigning for the Civil Partnership Act and he and partner Mike were among the first three couples to celebrate a civil partnership ceremony in England and Wales on 21 December 2005. Gino has since co-written ‘Civil Partnership: A Guide to the Perfect Day’. His tireless campaigning and voluntary work for the charity was officially recognised in 2008 in Surrey County Council’s Awards for Volunteering.

More information?

If anyone would like to be involved in the work of Gay Surrey please contact Gino via the website

Click here to read the transcript of an interview with Gino Meriano.

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