A big year for celebrating Pride in Scotland

A big year for celebrating Pride in Scotland

2018 is shaping up to be a big year for celebrating Pride and campaigning for further equality and acceptance across Scotland, with an impressive eleven lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) Pride events taking place all over Scotland. Pride events taking place for the first time include DG Pride (Dumfries & Galloway), Grampian Pride (Aberdeen) and Bute Pride (Isle of Bute).

This is a big increase on previous years where many more isolated areas were without their own Pride event and local LGBT+ people and allies needed to travel a significant distance to attend their nearest Pride event.

Scotland is currently ranked the second most progressive country in Europe for LGBT rights – slipping from the number one spot in 2017. Rights group ILGA-Europe collate the ranking which assesses European countries on their progress on equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. So who is ranked number one in 2018?…Malta of course…We know who’ll be getting our Eurovision votes this May.

This ranking is great of course, but homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and hate crimes are still major issues across Scotland – and the rest of the UK. The Scottish LGBT Equality Report, published by the Equality Network in 2015, showed that 97% of LGBT people in Scotland have personally faced prejudice or discrimination, 24% of LGBT people in rural parts of Scotland said that their local area is a ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ place for LGBT people to live and 43% of LGBT people in Scotland have moved, or considered moving, to live in a different area or out of the country altogether because of the discrimination that they have faced, and in order to live somewhere more accepting of LGBT people. These results are based on 1052 respondents from across Scotland.

“The events offer a great opportunity for communities to come together and show that they are accepting of everyone, no matter our differences.”

Stonewall Scotland’s School Report Scotland (2017), which surveyed more than 400 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people aged 11-19 living in Scotland, found that 48% of LGBT young people and 71% of transgender young people have experienced bullying because of who they are.

The Hate Crime in Scotland Report (2016/17) found that sexual orientation aggravated crime is the second most common type of hate crime in Scotland with 1,075 sexual orientation charges reported in 2016-17, an increase of 5% on the prior year. Racial crime is the most common hate crime with 3,349 charges reported.

This is why LGBT+ Pride events are still needed, and are so important.

Thomas Anderson, Founder of Inclusive Networks and former Chair of The Co-op’s LGBT staff network ‘Respect’ said : “It’s fantastic seeing more and more Pride events being added to Scotland’s Pride calendar. The events offer a great opportunity for communities to come together and show that they are accepting of everyone, no matter our differences. Not only are they an opportunity to highlight the oppression and prejudice still faced my many LGBT+ people, but they’re also a great opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come, have a fun day out with our friends and allies and raise the profile of local charities and community groups. Well done and thank you to the dedicated volunteers who make the events a reality.”

Here’s a summary of all the events announced so far – click on the Pride name to find out more. Will you be attending any of the Pride events?

Watch out for our special Inclusive Networks Pride features over the Summer. We’ll be bringing you lots of awesome original content, including interviews with people behind the community events, exclusive interviews with acts performing at many of the Pride events, features about local charities and community groups and much more. Watch this space! #ComeAndJoinIN

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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