FIRST SCOTTISH ISLAND PRIDE EVENT TO LAUNCH ON BUTE

The Isle of Bute is to host the first ever LGBT Pride event on a Scottish island!

Organisers have announced that Bute, which sits off the west coast in the Firth of Clyde, will host an event near Rothesay between 15th and 17th June.

As well as a march and live entertainment planned in venues around the island, there are plans for a Pride BBQ picnic for visitors to take in the stunning beauty of the island. Glasgow drag icons, Ms Lily Minogue and Barbara La Bush are also set to appear over the ‘Bute Pride Weekender’.

Ms Lily Minogue said, “After being the first drag queen to perform on the island I can’t wait to help celebrate the first Pride event and promote equality and acceptance and to celebrate diversity, adding a little sparkle to the proceedings!”

Bute’s first Pride event joins new marches and festivals in Perthshire, Grampian, Dundee, East Lothian and Dumfries in a record-breaking year for the LGBT movement in Scotland. Until recently, Pride events were only held annually in Glasgow and Edinburgh before organisers in West Lothian and Fife launched events and sparked a renewed momentum around the country.

Barbara La Bush told us, “I’m so happy to be invited to take part in the island’s first ever LGBTQ event this summer. I had the pleasure of performing a couple of weeks back at the Scottish Honky Tonk bar and I was made to feel so welcome. It fills me with a lot of emotion to think that the island is willing to support LGBT event and celebrate the diversity of Scotland and all its communities sharing a common good. Life is far too short for prejudice and we in Scotland lead the way in Britain and the rest of the world! Such Fun xx!”

We caught up with the organiser, owner of the Scottish Honky Tonk bar on the island, Brody Jamieson, for all the Bute Pride news:

– So Brody, what is planned for the Bute Pride Weekender?

Thus far we at the Honky Tonk have a solid DJ with the bar and our diner (Rockabilly Diner) providing a warm welcome on the first night (Friday). Early on Saturday we are having drinks and breakfast/lunch/BBQ, and people are welcome to visit Ardbeg Point across from the Honky Tonk for a picnic and to make new friends. We then assemble for the proper march to Rothesay. The march will encourage all to make a positive statement regarding the LGBTQ community and to educate, whilst floatillas, costumes etc are highly encouraged. Afterwards, there is dinner service at the Rockabilly Diner and preparations for the nights celebration throughout the island. At the Honky Tonk, we have two quality Drag performers (and friends of the business) from Glasgow, Ms Lily Minogue and Barbra La Bush. They are ABSOLUTELY HILLARIOUS and very, very talented. For Sunday, we plan yet another breakfast, and a proper farewell to all before they depart for the various ferries! Several other businesses have joined with us, and they too are running their own events and entertainment, though we at the Honky Tonk and Rockabilly DIner have made sure to focus our energies and attention on the LGBT community specifically. We really do consider this a grass-roots movement for this island, and we have several dear friends on the mainland assisting us with this.

– Is there any cost to attend and how will you make sure everyone can take part?

There is no fee to to join the march – and there never should or will be. There is a very reasonable charge for certain acts and shows at the various pubs and establishments – but there are also numerous free events with a more traditional Scottish atmosphere. Our aim is to keep all events as affordable as possible.

– Where did the idea come from?

It is safe to say that we have firmly established the Scottish Honky Tonk bar as the first openly friendly pub to the LGBT community here on this island. While of course other pubs welcome all customers, we have made a distinct effort to make it known that we are LGBT friendly throughout the island and mainland. Secondly, because we are a small island, sometimes LGBT people feel it can be difficult to live openly some feel they have to keep their identity quite. We simply wanted to give an opportunity to everyone to come together and celebrate diversity.

– Why should people come along and visit?

We believe the LGBT community should come along and have a great time and enjoy the absolute beauty that is the Isle of Bute. Outside my pub, I have what we would call a “million dollar view”. It is Scotland in miniature – absolutely stunning – as is the rest of the island. Secondly, we are bringing quality performers in to entertain, and beyond that, the parade itself can and will leave a lasting and positive idea of what the LGBT community is and always has been!

– What do you hope to achieve with this new event?

The intent is to bolster awareness on the island (and other islands by our example) that the LGBT community is a unique, talented and rich culture to be respected and admired. It should also highlight that members of the LGBT communities have the same issues as any other community, although there may be also unique issues to it – as numerous cultures do. Moreover, it’s purpose is to eradicate any misconceptions – its an event that should demonstrate that all people are people, making LGBT feel welcome in their own community and comfortable with each other.

– Where can people find more information?

Through the Scottish Honky Tonk and Rockabilly Diner Facebook page, and through https://www.scottish-honky-tonk.co.uk/

Any LGBT groups or charities are very welcome to attend and they should get in touch through the Scottish Honky Tonk page and we’ll be happy to welcome them to the island.

The Bute Pride Weekend brings the total number of Pride events to 11 in Scotland during 2018 – the highest number ever for a single year. The full list of Pride events can be found here:

https://pinksaltire.com/pride-dates/

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