Scotland’s first openly gay minister has encouraged north east people from all walks of life to celebrate the “hugely important milestone” of the first ever Grampian Pride in Aberdeen tomorrow.
The day-long festival, which will start with a colourful parade from Albyn Place and then on to Union Street from 10.30am, will shine a light on the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community.
After the parade has finished, the festivities will continue at the Grampian Pride Village, which has been erected at the Beach Boulevard.
As well as a headline performance from Banff singer-songwriter Sandi Thom, visitors will also be able to enjoy music from a variety of local bands and acts and a keynote speech from Annie Wallace, the first transgender person to play a regular transgender character in British soap history, on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.
Queen’s Cross Church minister Scott Rennie said: “This is a hugely important milestone in the north-east for the LGBT community and their families and I’m happy to see it looks like it’s going to be a big success.
“Although Aberdeen is a pretty inclusive city, this is the first time we have been able to celebrate the LGBT community on such a large scale.
“I always think about kids growing up LGBT and for them it will be so amazing to see that the city they live in is understanding and supportive and values them for who they are.”
Justine Smithies, one of the organiser of the event, said all 5,000 tickets for the village have already been booked, but people can still find tickets on the Grampian Pride website if there are any cancellations.
She said: “We’re expecting about 10,000 people to come along to the parade in the morning as well, so it’s really going to be a fantastic day.
“But it’s not just a celebration of LBGT people, it’s also a march to make people aware that there are still problems all around the world, and even here in Scotland, for LGBT people.
“Just the other day a gay couple were attacked in Edinburgh just for holding hands, so although there have been huge strides in recent years, there are still a lot of issues that LGBT people face today.
To find out more, visit www.grampianpride.org.