This weekend sees the very first Pride event on Isle of Bute. But do you know the history of Pride and why it exists?
I will admit that until recently I was not aware of the full story behind why Pride exists. I knew of Stonewall the organisation that campaigns for equality for all LGBT people but not much else.
Being a straight female I have always been a LGBT ally, that is someone who believes in equality for all; whether they be straight, gay, male, female, black, white, disabled or able bodied etc. We all live on this one planet and I have always believed that everyone should be treated with respect.
In 1950's America, things were not good for gay people, in fact they weren't good for gay people anywhere to be honest. If you were gay then your very existence was criminalised. You had very few rights as a gay person; you could be refused service in bars and restaurants, you could be sacked from your job if your employer found out you were gay.
On June 26th 1969 there was a police raid at The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village in New York City. Most raids were simply ones that shut bars down for a few days and they then re-opened until being raided again a few weeks later, But things got out of hand this night and it turned into a riot. People inside the bar were treated so badly by the police that many decided that the time was right to make a stand for LGBT rights.
Pride events take place around the world, usually in June every year to mark the events of that night and each year more cities, towns (and even small islands ) host their own Pride events.
This year, thanks to the guys at Scottish Honky Tonk Bute is holding its first ever Pride event and I am so looking forward to it. It has been a long time coming and I have no doubt there are people here who are not as enthusiastic about it as I am.
You may ask why we need Pride, after all, the events of 1969 are a long way off now and we live in different times. Well yes and no. It's true that many more people are more tolerant of LGBT people but that doesn't necessarily mean they accept they are entitled to equal rights just the same as straight people. LGBT people around the world still face incredible barriers in many areas, from healthcare, employment, marriage etc so there is still a long way to go to reach true equality.
You only have to look back at the events of June 12th 2016 at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida to see that Pride still needs to happen.
Pride events are a time to celebrate what has been achieved but also to campaign for what still needs to be achieved for true equality across the board and around the world.
As a LGBT ally, with friends and aquaintences of all shades of the rainbow, I am fully supportive of the fight for equality and will be there to see the Pride parade on Saturday in Rothesay with my rainbow badge on and my handmade rainbow earrings.
Huge admiration to the guys at the Scottish Honky Tonk for organising it and its good to see some of the local businesses getting onboard and putting out the rainbow flags.
The West End Chippy
There will hopefully be lots of people coming to Bute this weekend so fingers crossed that the weather is nice. We've had wall to wall sunshine for over 3 weeks then yesterday Storm Hector arrived. Lets hope he leaves before the parade on Saturday.
Rumour has it that even the BBC will be covering the event!!
So, hopefully I will have some pics to show you next time. if you get the chance to go to a Pride event then please do.
Show your support and spread the love.
For more details about the history and background to Pride and the Stonewall riots check out https://www.theodysseyonline.com/history-gay-pride