A new community Pride event for Dumfries & Galloway has been cancelled by organisers this week.

‘DG Pride’ was set to take place on Saturday 15th September in Dumfries, with the new group being granted charitable status earlier this year.

But in a public statement, the charity have complained of their planning being ‘undermined’ and of ‘unnecessary pressure’ being placed upon them by another local LGBT group, leading to the decision to cancel their plans.

img_0765Their statement reads, “DG Pride is aware of a certain other organisation who are proprietorial over Pride events and seem to think they, and they alone, should organise and run it. DG Pride has been presented with evidence that this organisation has planned to take over the event we have been working towards. DG Pride was surprised to receive emails which criticised our introduction and more recently to show that this organisation has also undermined our planning.”

It continued, “Our aim was always to work in partnership with many organisations, once we had all the finance we required in place (a target in which we had just about reached). It was essential that DG Pride follow its schedule in order to produce the event planned. Instead of this, we got unnecessary pressure. DG Pride is operated by volunteers and recently it has not been a happy experience. We cannot continue to organise a Pride event when we are not feeling proud about it.”

Partly, the the row is focussed on LGBT events organised by the local charity, D&G LGBT Plus, scheduled on the same day as DG Pride, leading to claims DG Pride was to “compete” with other events in the town aimed at the LGBT community. DG Pride continued, “When [we] heard of these other projects being prepared to run on the [same] day we had arranged, but also the day before, as well as a larger event on the [same] night itself, DG Pride was obviously disappointed. DG Pride had not been approached or included in these plans or indeed to see if we could partner in them.”

img_0208Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Plus, also a registered Scottish charity, have responded today with a statement denying these claims, saying they “approached DG Pride…. and they were unwilling to work together”.

They explained, “Regardless of political or personal agendas, D&G LGBT Plus have always reached out to DG Pride to build a unified approach, recognising the amount of different skills and organisations required to make such a large and diverse event happen. Having had no communication from DG Pride, and with the limited information we had, we began to organise a series of events to compliment DG Pride 2018. During this time, we continued to seek engagement with DG Pride.”

There is one glimmer of hope for the Dumfries & Galloway community expecting an event though, as the D&G LGBT Plus statement concludes, “We are moving ahead with our plans for a complimentary programme of Pride 2018 events and hope that we can announce an enhancement to these over the coming weeks to avoid further disappointment to the LGBTI community of Dumfries & Galloway and beyond.”

Dumfries last held a Pride nearly ten years ago when 600 people took part in an event at Dumfries’ Park Farm.

You can read the full DG Pride statement here.

You can read the full Dumfries & Galloway LGBT Plus statement here.

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