BUSINESSES URGED TO BACK SAFE SPACES INITIATIVE IN PERTHSHIRE

A scheme to encourage local businesses in Perth and Kinross to demonstrate their commitment to equality launched today (Monday).

The ‘Rainbow Sticker Scheme’ will see Perthshire Pride encourage local shop owners and businesses to display the colourful stickers in windows to show the community and visitors that Perth is a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

Launching the scheme earlier with Perth & Kinross Council, who received the first of the rainbow stickers for their HQ building on HIgh Street, Claire Mackenzie of Perthshire Pride said:

“Perthshire has only recently started creating an environment that LGBT+ people feel safe and welcome to be out – we want to keep this momentum going and make Perthshire as open and accepting of anyone, whether they are from a minority or not.”

In 2018, Perth & Kinross Council topped a survey of 32 Scottish local authorities for providing a comprehensive programme of events, education and support for LGBT staff and the wider community during LGBT History Month. More recently, they also funded an LGBT pop-up hub, managed by Pink Saltire.

The latest statistics for hate crimes against LGBT+ people indicate the number has never been higher, with over 1,100 charges across the country. Perth saw a sharp increase in recorded hate crime in the same year, up from 5 in the previous year, although numbers remain low at 14 cases.

With larger and more prominent events having a positive effect on changing social attitudes towards LGBT+ people, such as Perthshire Pride or the LGBT Hub, the rainbow sticker scheme is different in that it’s deliberately designed to be a more discreet visual reassurance for LGBT people – a demonstration that the business has some awareness of LGBT issues, even at a basic level, and wants everyone to feel welcome in their shop, cafe, taxi or workplace.

Claire continued:

“I really encourage local businesses to get involved, whether that be a hotel, bar, office, sole trader, taxi driver or any other local business. The rainbow sticker is completely free and we hope that businesses participating will also benefit from more LGBT+ custom too!”

If you’d like to get a rainbow sticker for your business or organisation in Perth & Kinross, just email info@perthshirepride.com

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