An estimated 9,000 people turned out for the Pride Glasgow march yesterday, defying critics that the charity should disband after criticism of the 2018 event.
As one of Scotland’s largest Pride marches wound its way through the city streets, from a rainbow-covered Clyde Place to its end point at Broomielaw, Chairman Chris Tait said he felt the event had been a “great success”.
But drama wasn’t too far away from Glasgow Pride as the UK’s largest trade union, Unite, announced they wouldnt take part in the parade 24hrs before the event because of concerns that Pride has become “too commercialised”. Organisers hit back saying they were not registered to take part in the parade in the first place.
But it was the presence of a rainbow hearse from Co-op Funeralcare which caused more of a backlash, with community members being divided on whether it was exceptionally bad taste or not.
Many people felt it wasnt appropriate to be in the Pride parade, given the higher rates of suicide amongst LGBT people and the shadow of HIV/AIDS from the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Not everyone agreed though, with some welcoming the fact the Co-op were showing that funerals can be personalised and a celebration of life rather than somber occasions.
A spokesperson for the Co-op, speaking to the Herald, said:
“The Co-op is a proud, recognised and long-term supporter of Pride and the LGBT Community. The rainbow hearse was requested by our members and customers some years ago, to help funerals become more of a celebration of life.”
“It has appeared regularly at events across the UK and the feedback we have received has generally been very positive.”
Several LGBT groups were not officially represented in Scotland’s largest Pride march yesterday too, including Stonewall Scotland, LGBT Youth, LEAP Sports, LGBT Health & Wellbeing and the trade union, Unison.
Pride Glasgow was one of three Pride events in the city this summer, which included the ‘radical alternative’ Free Pride at the CCA and the MardiGla march.
2019 has been a record-breaking year for Pride in Scotland, with 20 events held around the country from Stornoway to Ayrshire and more than 65,000 people are estimated to have taken part in a Pride parade this year, the largest number ever.
The final two remaining Pride events will happen in Dumfries on 14th September and Dundee on 21st September.