Perth to host major celebration of LGBT history

© DC ThomsonThe first ever Perthshire Pride in August, 2019
The first ever Perthshire Pride in August, 2019

A major event to celebrate LGBT history, marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, will be staged in Perth next year.

The charity Pink Saltire plans to set up a pop-up heritage hub in the city centre, offering exhibitions, entertainment and presentations from a range of speakers.

It follows the city’s successful first Pride festival earlier this summer.

The week-long Pink Saltire celebration, scheduled for February, has been awarded £1,850 of cash from the council’s common good fund.

According to council papers, it will cost a total of £4,625 to host the event, including £1,500 for a project worker.

Charity founder Stuart Duffy said: “Pink Saltire are developing a programme which we hope will bring LGBT history and heritage to people outside the central belt in 2019 for LGBT History Month in February.

“This project will deliver a week-long cultural hub in the heart of Perth city centre, a pop-up heritage centre, which we hope will capture the imagination of those who support equality or want to learn more about the fight for equal rights in Scotland.”

He added: “We hope to deliver a number of interesting talks, an LGBT heritage exhibition, lots of entertainment and fun to bring our shared heritage to life.

“2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall riots in America, the event which ignited the modern fight for equality and this will be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how that fight was won here in Scotland.”

The 1969 riots, when members of New York’s gay community rose up against police harassment, is seen as a turning point for LGBT rights.

In August, Perth hosted its first Pride event, attracting hundreds of people to the city centre.

Rev Scott Burton, of St Matthew’s Church, made history by becoming the first kirk minister to open a Pride festival.

Kicking off a packed programme of music and speeches, he apologised for the church’s historic treatment of the LGBT community.

“If you are LGBT, you know that the Church that I belong to has hurt you, again and again,” he said.

Mr Burton said he was “amazed” to be asked to speak at the event. “This shows the most amazing generosity and graciousness by the Perthshire Pride organising team.”

The local Pride group are planning a second event in Perth in 2019.