A new short film has been released to share the history of Pride in Scotland over the last 25 years.
‘Oor Pride’ is a short film by filmmaker Lisa Emily Petersen, produced by Pink Saltire and made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The history of Pride marches in Scotland is told by voices from within the Scottish LGBT+ community and uses first-hand accounts and archival material to tell the story of Pride here.
The film explores the intimate relationship between political progress for LGBT+ rights and the protests that often give these campaigns oxygen.
Inspired by the Stonewall riots of 1969 and the days of Section 28 in the UK, events like ‘Lark in the Park’ and Pride Scotia were pioneering in Scotland, with that tradition continuing right up to the present day with digital Pride events replacing traditional marches due to COVID restrictions.
As well as highlighting many of the political struggles overcome by LGBT+ people, the film also looks at the representation of people from rural places and the dramatic increase in Pride marches across Scotland’s islands and regional communities in recent years.
Filmmaker Lisa Emily Petersen, who was selected to produce the film by a panel of Pride organisers and activists, said:
“Oor Pride was in many ways a dream project for me. It felt liberating to be able to make a film about Scottish queer history told exclusively by members of our community and it was a real eye opener to learn just how much has changed in the past few decades.”
“I am particularly proud to have been able to give our trans friends time to voice both their positive experiences and highlight the inequality that sadly still persists.”
“Working with Pink Saltire has been a real joy. From the start they had a clearly defined vision, but gave me creative freedom to grow the film the way I thought was best. Their wealth of knowledge was invaluable as we worked on a tight timeline during the pandemic.”
“I hope viewers of ‘Oor Pride’ leave knowing more about the last 3 decades of our history and feel motivated to get involved with their local pride marches.”
An accompanying exhibition has also launched, which opened earlier in September and bridges some of the main legislative and human rights campaigns often seen (and heard) at Pride events over the years, including marriage equality, gender reform, Section 28 and the gay blood ban.
The exhibition, curated by Our Story Scotland’s Dom Miller-Graham, has been visited by nearly 250 people at its temporary home in The Mercat Shopping Centre in Kirkcaldy, before it opens at The Hive LGBT+ Centre soon. The exhibition and film will then travel around the country to help engage more people on Scotland’s march for equality.
The film also features coverage of the controversial claims made in 1999 by preacher Dr Pat Robertson that Scotland was “a dark land overrun by homosexuals” after his company were reportedly working on a telephone banking service with Bank of Scotland.
Executive Producer of the film and Founder of Pink Saltire, Stuart Duffy, said:
“This project has been many months in the planning and was due to be completed last summer, as Scotland celebrated 25 years since the first Pride march, but unfortunately COVID had other plans! Not only did it push back filming, but it meant LGBT+ people didnt have the chance to gather, to protest, to celebrate Pride as we normally would – infact it was set to be another record-breaking year for Pride events in Scotland.”
“Instead, although we’ve not had many opportunities to get together and march, digital Pride events were a lifeline for some in the community who were completely isolated – we all missed our rainbow families so much!”
“Hopefully this film and the exhibition demonstrate the power of Pride to help change our country for the better. I would encourage everyone to get involved with their local Pride event and help to create change together. A Scotland without Pride would be a dull place indeed!”
You can find a list of all Scotland’s Pride organisers here.