Vale of Leven in the West of Scotland is to have its first ever LGBT Pride event – organised by two proud mums fighting back against homophobia.

Sandra Reilly and Annemarie Kennedy have organised Vale Pride, happening at The Pawn Lounge in Alexandria on Sunday, from 1pm til late.

Organiser Sandra, who runs Sandra’s Cafe in Alexandria, and her employee Annemarie, decided to take action after discovering their sons had suffered homophobic abuse.

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Photo credit: Lennox Herald

Speaking to the Lennox Herald, Sandra said:

“A couple of weeks back, I went on Facebook and I saw a homophobic remark directed at Annemarie’s son, Dylan. I’ve been there with my own son and I though ‘enough is enough’. My son Paul is working in Cyprus and got a punch in the face there because he was walking hand in hand with his partner. I’m horrified people can be like that, it’s absolutely disgusting in this day and age and it needs to stop.”

“Myself and Annemarie decided to set up the Vale’s first Pride to celebrate the LGBT community and help stop this discrimination. We’ve lots of entertainment planned – it’s going to be a brilliant day.”

Earlier in the summer, West Dunbartonshire Provost William Hendrie held a civic reception for members of the STUC LGBT+ committee to thank them for the work they do to make Scotland a better place.

Local high school, Vale of Leven Academy also featured in one of Pink Saltire’s first video projects, highlighting the need for inclusive education in Scotland’s schools and demonstrating the excellent work on LGBT-inclusion at the school.

Jim Bollan, a local councillor, welcomed the news of the Pride plans for the area, adding:

“It’s fantastic that Sandra Reilly and friends are organising the first Vale Prid event. The Community Party are delighted to support this important gathering demanding equality and against discrimination. We need to send out a strong message from the Vale and further afield that we stand together as a community against any discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters.”

A full programme of events will be held at the Pawn Lounge from 1pm on Sunday 25th August, with details on the Vale Pride Facebook page.


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