Highland LGBT Forum are celebrating an award of over £8000 from the Big Lottery Fund this week.
The money has been awarded for a ‘Proud Ness’ event to be held in Inverness in September, according to the groups Facebook page.
The event is described as a ‘one-day diversity, visibility and inclusion event’ and it’s understood there will also be a series of smaller events in other Highland locations in the months following.
A spokesperson for the group told us:
“The Highland LGBT Forum is very pleased to have been awarded funding. The events are to promote diversity, equality and inclusivity within the Highlands for the LGBT+ community. Much has been done through the government to promote these, but work needs to be done to improve social acceptance in the Highlands.”
MSP for Inverness and Nairn, Fergus Ewing, shared his congratulations and said:
“I hope that these events are well attended and that they bring and foster improved understanding and tolerance in the Highlands of those with differing views and backgrounds. We should all value each other as human beings, with life being precious, and live together in our communities with respect and tolerance of difference.”
Locals are now being encouraged to get involved and help shape the event by attending the Forum’s next meeting, being held on 12th May in Fort William.
Kevin Crowe, who lives in Wick and is the former convener of the Highland LGBT Writers Group, said:
“This is excellent news and is an indication of the hard work done by the Forum committee and volunteers. LGBT+ people in rural areas sometimes face different issues than those from urban areas. It is particularly pleasing that the Forum will be organising events across the Highlands as well as in Inverness, and I look forward to attending. Well done the Highland LGBT Forum!”
Although this is not being described as a Pride event, Scotland is seeing a significant rise in community-led LGBT events generally, with 11 confirmed Prides taking place in 2018, compared to just 4 in 2017. There are also a range of events moving out of the central belt, such as the Ayrshire LGBT Pride Camp and LEAP Sports Festival Fortnight (with 60 events across Scotland).
Earlier in the year the first Trans Pride Scotland was held in Edinburgh and new events were also announced for Perthshire, Dundee, Grampian, Dumfries & Galloway, East Lothian and the Isle of Bute. They join established events already planned for Fife, West Lothian, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
You can follow all the latest Highland LGBT Forum news from their website HERE.