A young man from Kilmarnock is at the helm of a brand new LGBT festival in Scotland – Ayrshire Pride!

Jack McPhail is the person behind plans for a week-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the West of Scotland, launching later this month.

He hopes to bring the community together with events being held between 27th May and 2nd June, with a Pride festival planned for Saturday 1st June in Ayr town centre.

Jack, who also performs as local drag queen Miss Sasha Blaze, said he’s excited about bringing Pride to a whole new area of Scotland, telling us:

Jack is Miss Sasha Blaze

“I’ve wanted to organise a Pride for Ayrshire because of the lack of visibility for LGBT people here. I wanted to create a space where people of all ages, genders and sexuality can get together and really feel like a community.”

“As the host of Ayrshire’s only permanent drag show, I’ve seen for myself that there needs to be more done to foster a real community here. I’m hoping this event can bring us together and provide something that the community can be really proud of.  I want everyone to be able to have their say and to help make it a success – why should all the focus be on the big city Pride events when there’s plenty pride in small towns too!”

Jack is planning events across the week, which include an LGBT takeover at Fury’s nightclub, drag bingo, a quiz night, an LGBT brunch, a special Drag show and the main Pride event itself, with live entertainment and community stalls in the heart of Ayr.

Pride events are an opportunity to come out and celebrate your identity, whether you’re an LGBT person or an ally!  In this special 50th year since the Stonewall riots in New York City, it’s also a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come in Scotland but how little progress there’s been in other places around the world.  Recent community Pride events in other towns have been a great opportunity for more rural communities to champion LGBT rights.

Ayrshire Pride becomes the 17th event to be listed for 2019 in Scotland – a record breaking year for Pride.  New events are also planned for East Lothian, Oban, Glasgow and they join regular events in places such as Edinburgh, Fife, Dundee and Aberdeen.  Last year more than 52,000 people took part in Pride in Scotland and they generated an estimated £3.8million for the Scottish economy.

For more information about getting involved in Ayrshire Pride you can contact Jack and his team of volunteers through their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter here.


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