Out and proud
Glasgow Pride has put the unpleasantness of 2006 behind it and is set to be bigger than ever. Suzanne Black gets her glitter on
It’s that time of year again. Dig out the cowboy hats, the feather boas and anything whatsoever with a rainbow on it. Oh, and dig out your conviction about your sexuality because this is one of the best days of the year to make a statement, celebrate diversity and remind any malingering doubters in the world at large of the positive aspects of the LGBTQ communities.
Pride Scotia have traditionally alternated the festival between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Ross Stephenson, one of the directors of Pride Scotia (Glasgow) explains why this will be the first of now annual Pride marches for the west coast. ‘When we met to plan this year’s event it was decided that we needed to create an event for Glasgow, an event that could bring Glasgow and Scotland together.’
Cleverly playing on the LGBT name, the event has the tagline ‘Let’s Get Back Together’. Cast your minds back to the problems at the last Pride in Glasgow in 2006 (when several members of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue refused to hand out fliers on moral grounds) and you’ll know why this is an apposite sentiment. ‘We also have the support of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue,’ Stephenson assures me. ‘We’ve been working closely with them to make sure the event is nothing like a repeat of 2006.’
And there’s more fun than ever. The festival is stretching to two days, making it the biggest Pride event in Scotland. The march starts from Blythswood Square at 11.30am on Saturday and wends through the city centre to arrive at George Square in time for the festivities and appearances by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Glasgow City Council’s Equality Spokesman. Drag queens will preside over the vast musical line-up, comprising dance duo Uniting Nations, dance uno Hazel Dean, X-Factor contestant Brenda Edwards, powerhouse diva Hannah Jones, Kelly Wilde and boyband Billiam. The boys have supported Westlife and Girls Aloud and reached the dizzying heights of number 32 in the charts last year with single ‘Beautiful Ones’.
If you survive all that, the finale party (Sun 31 Aug, Tiger Tiger, 8pm), which is organised in association with Queer Scotland magazine and Babylon, boasts Brenda Edwards (again) and Karen Danzig.
So where will Stephenson be on the day? ‘You can probably find me attached to a valium tank somewhere!’ Who knew that enjoying the freedom of expression of sexuality was so exhausting?
George Square, Glasgow, Sat 30 Aug; Tiger Tiger, Glasgow, Sun 31 Aug. See www.prideglasgow.co.uk