Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has led the Glasgow LGBT Pride parade for the first time.
Organisers estimate over 12,000 people took part in the parade, a record number, winding its way from the banks of the River Clyde through busy shopping streets and on to Kelvingrove Park in the city’s West End.
Wearing a ‘Choose Love’ t-shirt, the First Minister addressed marchers from an open top bus and said,
“Despite other events happening elsewhere in Scotland today, I tell you from the bottom of my heart I tell you how proud I am to be here today, there’s no place I’d rather be than right here in Glasgow” as she referred to the visit of US President, Donald Trump, to his Turnberry golf resort.
She continued, “We know that we still need to stand up for trans rights and against transphobia and homophobia and we will do that.”
Later on the main stage, as she welcomed Pride go-ers to the Festival site, the First Minister said,
“Pride marches are all about celebrating and affirming values that I think are important to many people across the country. Values like tolerance and respect and diversity and love and I think it’s an appropriate thing for me as a First Minister to be part of today and I’m proud to do so.”
MSP’s from the other political parties also addressed the Pride parade, including Conservative, Jamie Greene and Greens co-convener, Patrick Harvie.
Elsewhere in the parade, Scottish Trans Alliance had a 15m-long trans flag, held by activists supporting trans rights. There were a number of corporate organisations supporting the LGBT cause, including Arnold Clark, Tesco and Sky.
In an extended route, stretching almost 3 miles through Scotland’s biggest city, there were some concerns about safety as frustrated motorists cut through the thousands of marchers near the M8 in Anderston. Stewards watched helplessly as marchers complained about a lack of Police at key junctions along the route.
One Pride go-er told us,
“It was pretty dangerous, clearly these drivers were having to wait on a huge parade to pass by and yes the roads seemed really gridlocked but the Police should have been there to help keep the traffic moving and to deal with folk who just decided they’d had enough and barged through the parade. The stewards couldn’t do anything to stop them!”
Pride Glasgow continues with entertainment on Saturday and Sunday in Kelvingrove Park, with acts such as The Sundaes, GBX, Grace Davies and STEPS performing.
Main Pic credit: Equality Network