This year, Perthshire Pride is back for its second year, bigger and brighter than ever before with the introduction of the first ever Pride Parade! This is an exciting development for Perth, and a positive step forward for the LGBT+ community based here.
This year's event starts from midday at the South Inch where the Pride Parade will begin. The Pride Village will take place on Horsecross Plaza outside Perth Concert Hall on Saturday August 10. It will run between 1pm and 7pm, with an official after-party in The Bank Bar and Nightclub going from 8pm until 3am.
I spoke with founder and co-chair of Perthshire Pride, Claire Mackenzie, to find out more about this fantastic event, and how it all started.
Tell us about yourself – who are you?
My name is Claire Mackenzie, I grew up in the Craigie area of Perth and went to high school at St John's 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 four years during university then spent a year travelling in Australia. When I came 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.
What was your experience of setting up Perth's first Pride event?
I was completely naïve as 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 first 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, and 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 differently, we just want to 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 Horsecross Plaza outside Perth Concert Hall on Saturday August 10 between 1pm and 7pm, with the first ever Pride Parade kicking off at noon.
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 of those who appear different from the ‘norm’.
This year will see the return of the Pride market 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. The local GLOW group will also host a fun-filled Youth Zone, and Perth Concert Hall will host a barbecue and bar!
The event is completely family and dog-friendly so bring along your babies and fur babies! There will even be a competition run by Dog Friendly Perthshire for pooches showing the most pride spirit so let’s get colourful!
Make sure you get down to Horsecross Plaza for 4pm to take part in a Guinness World Record attempt for the world’s largest gaylidh (ceilidh)!
Taking Pride of Place on An Àrd-ùrlar Chothromach (The Fair Stage) is Voss, a drag performer with big hair and big dreams!
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! The day promises to show the best of Perthshire and celebrate the LGBT+ community.
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
We have all the details on this year's Perthshire Pride event!
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