Following a successful community consultation in Fife, local LGBT+ people are leading the way in planning another Kingdom-wide Pride for 2018.
Fife held its first Pride event in July 2017, organised by partners Fife Centre for Equalities and Pink Saltire, together with Fife Cultural Trust and supported by Fife Council. Now, in an example of positive community participation, local LGBT+ people will take forward plans for Pride.
New Co-Convener of Fife Pride, David Taylor of Dunfermline, said:
“This year’s team have done a great job in putting together a fantastic first Fife Pride, setting the bar very high. I am very proud to be able to play a part in the new team of imaginative, creative and committed people who wil endeavour raising the bar even higher in 2018. I’m encouraging everyone to get in touch if they have some time to volunteer and make it ‘Our Pride’ in the months ahead.”
Over 3000 people turned up in Kirkcaldy to march in solidarity for LGBT rights and diversity in the Kingdom, followed by an afternoon of entertainment and community stalls in the town square.
Almost 30 volunteers have now pledged to get involved in organising the next event, and the group met for the first time this week. They are to seek charitable status from the Scottish Charity Regulator over the next month.
Fife has a number of challenges facing its LGBT+ population, with distance and travel to events and support groups being a main driver for isolation amongst the estimated 13,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living in the region.
Led by Pink Saltire and supported by other local service partners, including Sexual Health Fife and Fife Council’s Community Learning & Development Team, the profile of LGBT work in the region has gradually been built up by holding consultations, surveys, a Rainbow Lunch event, a black-tie Awards Dinner and culminating in the high profile Pride event in the summer.
In post-Pride research, over 82% of nearly 450 respondents said they ‘Loved’ the Pride event held on 1st July and it was the first ever Pride experience for almost 50% of those who attended.
There was a strong economic boost from the event too, with an estimated £150,000 being spent, with most of this sum going back into the local economy. Over 1 in 10 visitors to Fife Pride came from outside the region too, making it a potential tourism hot spot in 2018 as the new team look to expand and improve the event.