13 August 2019
It was big, it was bright, it was beautiful! Perthshire Pride's first parade through the streets of Perth brought thousands of rainbow clad supporters to the city centre, in a glorious, colourful mass of love.
All of our Perthshire favourites were either there in person, part of the village, or supporting the cause from their shops and businesses: Andy's Man Club, Dog Friendly Perthshire with the Pups of Pride, Fair City Rollers, the WOW Festival and Perth's Community Farm marched proudly in the parade; Murrays the Bakers went rainbow coloured with their empire biscuits, and Hannah from Rae Peacock Hair and Beauty become a one woman rainbow!
Of course, it was the hard work and dedication of the organising committee - all volunteers! - that not only made the entire day possible, but that secured the most magical of parade leaders for the event!
Sir Ian McKellan, Hollywood legend, and long-time supporter and activist of LGBT+ rights, led the way and gave a resounding speech from the Pride Party Stage at Horsecross. He was generous with his love, his inspirational spirit and his time - how many selfies with Sir Ian did you spot on Facebook afterwards? The whole town nabbed him!
The sun too came out to play, after a week of hiding behind the torrential rain, and shone down on the revellers for a day unlike any other.
As someone who has lived in Perth my entire 47 years, I have never been so proud of my city. I have friends who left in the nineties, unable to live openly in such a small, conservative town. It was stifling. To see the streets heaving with colour, love and complete acceptance - for tolerance is only the first small step people - was truly uplifting.
And so, to Claire, Anna and Don and the wonderful Perthshire Pride committee - we salute you! You have made an entire city a better, more colourful, place to live. #LoveIsLove #PRIDE
Anna Davies, co-chair of Perthshire Pride had this to say:
"It was a fantastic day!! This was not just because of the amazing Sir Ian Mckellen leading the parade but also because of the brilliant supporters that came to enjoy the event. Estimated number is 7500+ which is incredible. From a heartwarming proposal on stage, to a gaylidh in the rain, and of course a historic parade (first ever!) we couldn’t have asked for better. Thank you to everyone that came to perthshire pride, it really was a day to be proud of."
Perthshire Pride: Developing an LGBT+ inclusive culture and promoting Perthshire as a ‘safe place’ through education and support.
A huge shout out to the gallery photographers, Marysia MacFarlane and Ian Potter both of whom rushed around crazy on Saturday after we received a call from BBC looking for pics! Neither charged for their time or photographs, and the Perthshire Pride Parade was live on BBC by 2pm.
Marysia is the group leader of Pictures of Perth and Beyond, and last year married her long-term girlfriend Kirsty, in a beautiful ceremony bursting with love.
Ian is a local photographer from Lightpress Media & Design who has captured many an event in Perth City, but reckons Saturday was his best by far. "It was AWESOME. Ive never seen anything like that in Perth - what an atmosphere!"