Scotland’s capital city will be filled with colour this weekend as Pride returns to Edinburgh for its 23rd year.

Events kick off this Saturday 16th June with the annual Pride Scotia march, this year starting at The Scottish Parliament at midday, before heading up the Royal Mile, along George IV Bridge and into Bristo Square. There will be a brief pause outside Edinburgh City Chambers for speeches.

An afternoon of entertainment awaits at the EUSA buildings at Potterow and Teviot, with the theme being ‘True Colours’ for 2018. There will be information stalls at the Health & Wellbeing Fair, a youth zone, trans space, LGBT history exhibition, ceilidh dancing, the Big Fish Little Fish family rave and live acts on the new San Francisco Main Stage, sponsored by Manchester Airport in a 3-year deal.

Jamie Love, Marketing Manager for Capital Pride, the charity behind the Pride Scotia march and Pride Edinburgh festival told us:

“We at Pride Edinburgh are thrilled to welcome Pride-goers to an ever growing celebration of love in Scotland’s capital on the 16th of June. Like every year, we are hugely thankful to the volunteers and sponsors that make Pride Edinburgh possible, working all year round to create the event we all know and love.”

“This year’s line up is a true celebration of Pride – we have assembled the best of Pride Edinburgh as well as adding new acts to our Manchester Airport San Francisco Stage. We are excited to welcome back Stooshe, Caitlin Vanbeck and Lloyd Daniels, as well as welcoming Pride newbies Kelli-Leigh and James Hughes.”

Stooshe will perform their new single ‘Let it Go’

Organisers have attracted support from a number of high profile businesses and organisations in the city, all keen to demonstrate their support for LGBT equality, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Aegon UK, Kames UK, Choose Life, Standard Life Aberdeen, Edinburgh Playhouse & Kinky Boots UK Tour and HSBC.

The community were shocked in recent weeks following reports of 2 separate homophobic incidents in the same night near the scene venues on Greenside Place, and have also been dealt a blow by the news that popular nightclub GHQ is to close after Pride weekend.

Brett Herriot, Chair of Pride Edinburgh, explained why he feels Pride is still relevant in 2018:

“Pride is something we should hold dear every day of our lives, we should be proud of ourselves irrespective of who we love or how others perceive us – we should be proud of our gender or even lack of it. We are all unique special human beings, sharing this planet and making our journey through life. For me, Pride means celebrating diversity in all its glory and standing shoulder to shoulder to say to those in the world who are in pain that it does and will get better – if we stand together as one with Pride, not just for ourselves, but for all humanity.”

“As recently as 2 weeks ago, there have been several homophobic attacks in Edinburgh, right on the door step of the LGBTQI+ scene venues. There is still much to be done to tackle homo, bi and especially transphobia in our schools and communities, and even in our own community. We must also look to our position as a capital city on the international stage – America is repealing trans rights, especially in the military. Pride remains as relevant today as it ever has and as we celebrate 40 years of the Rainbow Flag this year, and in 2019 it will be 50 years since the Stonewall riots (where the Pride movement began), we can see just how far we have all come, but sadly there is still so much to do.  The journey must and WILL go on.”

You can download the full Pride Edinburgh Guide as a pdf here.

Main pic credit: ScotsGay

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