One week ago we joined thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer folk (and plenty of allies and supporters) in Edinburgh for the national Pride Scotia march.
The organisers made tremendous efforts to arrange an event which represents the long history of protest and standing up for our rights which has, at times, been lost by many Pride events around the UK.
The march itself, while competing with ‘Chieftin O’ The Queens’, Her Majesty QEII (who was in Edinburgh for the opening of the Scottish Parliament) was one of the best attended and biggest marches in its history. Police Scotland estimated over 4500 people took part.
There was also a fantastic display of community spirit in the Omni Centre, near to the scene bars, where the popular Community Fair was held.
Not just heaven for freebie-hunters to restock their pen collection or to add another button badge, but evidence of the huge variety of groups and organisations working hard to improve human rights in Scotland and to support LGBT+ people, often on a shoe-string budget.
Pink Saltire wanted to thank Brett and the entire team at Pride Edinburgh for all their hard work, so we made a short video and contacted our political leaders to send their thoughts too!
Thanks to Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale, Willie Rennie and Angela Constance (in her capacity as Cabinet Secretary for Equalities) for taking part at short notice. In what was a very busy week politically, we didnt manage to get time with Nicola Sturgeon or Patrick Harvie, but we know they are very strong allies of the LGBT movement and will continue to support our cause.
While too many in our community still suffer homo/bi/transphobia in everyday life, we cannot let events like Pride be stifled by bureaucrats or hijacked by commercial interests. It’s down to us as a community to organise ourselves, get creative and continue to come up with means of getting our message out there. The fight is not over and we must all continue to campaign for trans & non-binary rights and to better understand how we can support other human rights abuses, such as those our intersex community face from birth.
ONE NATION. PROUD.
Written by: Stuart Duffy