The town of Lauder in the Scottish Borders has flown the rainbow flag from its most prominent building as a sign of solidarity with the LGBT community for the first time.
The tollbooth building in the centre of the village, which sits around 30 miles south of Edinburgh, was adorned with the LGBT flag earlier in the summer, with locals keen to show their support for LGBT rights and diversity.
Lauder joins other towns and cities across the country standing up for LGBT equality in Scotland this year, with a record-braking 12 Pride events being held, from Aberdeen down to Dumfries, up from just 4 in 2017. As our community grows in confidence there is an improving awareness of LGBT issues, with communities coming together and demonstrating their support for equality in lots of ways, including simple but significant gestures such as flying the rainbow flag.
Craig McBeath, from the local community council, told us the move was widely supported in the town, with local businesses chipping in to purchase the flags:
“I suggested it firstly to my colleagues and of those who expressed an opinion the feeling was very positive. I also saw it as a way of promoting the village to a wider audience and to boost the image as an open community who welcomes diversity. I know personally 3 families who [are] LGBT+ and I thought this would be a public show of support to them. I sought their opinions and they said it would send out a positive message of understanding, compassion and empathy to a group who at times don’t always get such outward support.”
Scottish Borders Council have also been strong supporters of LGBT equality in the region, regularly raising the rainbow flag at their HQ in Melrose to mark annual celebration days such as IDAHOBIT and TDOV.
The Scottish Borders LGBT Equality group is also seen regularly at events around the region, with outreach activity and stalls at events such as the Borders Book Festival and they were also at the first Trans Pride Scotland earlier this year. You can find out more about the group on their Facebook page here.