This year, Perth are hosting their first ever Pride! This is an exciting development for Perth, and a positive step forward for the LGBT+ community based here. Taking place on Perth Concert Hall Plaza on Saturday the 11th of August, it will run between 1pm until 6pm, with an official after-party in Bar Forty-Four on Atholl Street going from 7:30pm to late.
I spoke with founder and co-chair of Perthshire Pride, Claire Mackenzie, to find out more about this weekend’s event, and how it all started.
Tell us about yourself – who are you?
My name is Claire Mackenzie, 24, and I grew up in the Craigie area of Perth and went to high school at St. Johns Academy. I work in Project Management and I am the Founder and Co-Chair of Perthshire Pride.
What made you decide to start Perthshire Pride?
I had been living in Dundee for 4 years during University and Australia for a year travelling – when I decided to come home to Perth, I had this realisation that even though a lot had changed in Perth since I had left, there was still this hidden community that no one seemed to acknowledge. Everywhere I had visited just seemed to have an open community but it was like the LGBT+ community was still in the closet in Perth. I knew this had to change as not feeling fully welcome in your own community was something that was not unique to me.
Pink Saltire - a Scottish LGBT charity - set up consultations in Perth in 2017 on the back of the huge success of Fife Pride. These consultations invited the LGBT+ community in Perthshire to discuss if a Pride event was something that was needed. As soon as it was established that the community wanted one I jumped at the chance to start up Perthshire Pride as we know it.
This is Perth’s first Pride event. What was your experience of setting everything up from scratch like?
I was completely naïve to how much work setting up a charity was! I always claim I have more ambition than sense! Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances I lost the great members of my original team, and I didn’t have a board of trustees until April 2018. The stress of trying to run it on my own was unbearable at times and I was even going to postpone the event until 2019. However, with some calming words from supporters and the absolute chance meetings of my now Co-Chair, Craig, and Events Manager, Anna, we managed to bring the event back to life. We added more amazing talent to our team who now run our Social Media and I can honestly say without them this event would not be taking place.
Why is Pride so important for the Perth community, and in a broader sense?
Being in hiding means that you feel you have something to be ashamed of. Shame is a feeling that has so many adverse effects on a person’s wellbeing. Being LGBT+ is something we cannot help or change, no one should feel ashamed of who they are. Pride events are needed as we should be embracing who we are and be proud of that. As a community we don’t want to be treated any different, we want to just be treated as human, at the end of the day love is love.
Pride events are needed as we should be embracing who we are and be proud of that.
What kinds of things can we expect on the day?
Perthshire Pride is taking place on Perth Concert Hall Plaza on Saturday 11th August between 1pm and 6pm.
Perthshire Pride is the first stand-alone LGBT+ event in Perthshire! The event is a celebration of equality and diversity throughout Perthshire and hopes to strengthen the LGBT+ community and the Perthshire community as a whole in support for those who appear different from the ‘norm’.
On the day there will be live music from 1pm until 6pm with speeches from Perth & Kinross Depute Provost – Willie Wilson, Depute First Minister- John Swinney; and a historically brave speech from Reverend Scott Burton, a minister within the Church of Scotland who is fighting for the rights of the LGBT+ community.
There will also be a Pride market with charities and organisations where you can get your face painted, get a massage, and find out about all the charities and organisations that are supporting the LGBT+ community.
Inside the Concert Hall there is a youth zone which is being run by Perthshire Pride youth where you can design a Drag Queen, meet Miss Transgender UK – Aria Welsh who hails from Perthshire, and take part in our Human Library section – where you can learn about local people's experiences of being LGBT+ and why Pride events are needed in Perthshire!
The event is completely family and dog friendly so bring along your babies and fur babies! There will even be a competition for pooches that are showing the most pride spirit so let’s get colourful!
There will be an official after party held in Bar Forty-Four on Atholl Street starting at 7:30pm which will include drag acts Choc Clit and Rayna Destruction and goes on until late.
Perthshire Pride is encouraging everyone to come and show their support regardless of how they define and prove that love is love and that we are all human!
Lastly, if someone reading this wants to get involved, how could they do that?
We really want to make this an ongoing event, so if you have the work ethic and great ideas please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep up to date with Perth Pride on Facebook at @PerthshirePride
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