Hebrides to hold ‘historic’ gay pride parade for first time

Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis is to hold its first Gay Pride. Picture: geograph.co.uk
Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis is to hold its first Gay Pride. Picture: geograph.co.uk
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A “historic” gay pride parade will be held in the Western Isles for the first time.

Hebridean Pride will go ahead on October 6 with a parade planned in Stornoway.

“Lets have a fabulous time and put an end to intolerance in the Hebrides,” a social media post for the event said.

One supporter described the Pride as a “historic event” for Lewis, where the Sabbath is still observed and the ultra-conservative Free Church of Scotland has its stronghold.

Meanwhile, supporters of the Proud Ness event in Inverness, also to be held on October 6, are rallying against comments made by a Free Church of Scotland mission worker who described the event as “shameful” and “deeply offensive”.

• READ MORE: First Sunday screening at Stornoway cinema sells out

Donald J Morrison has set up a petition to ban the Inverness event but two counter petitions, each attracting thousands of signatures of those who support the event, have also been launched.

Hebridean Pride is due to finish with party at the Era Nightclub in Stornoway.

Manager Carl Easton said: “There is a gay community on the island but it is the same as any small place, people don’t broadcast it. It is quiet and fairly subdued.

“I hope the Pride event will be well received.

“There will probably be a couple of people standing outside my nightclub with placards. I don’t agree with that and I don’t condone that but I suppose it is their right to be able to do that.”

Last year, Stornoway arts centre An Lanntair put on a programme for LGBT History Month with the events attracting some opposition.

The venue’s cinema put on its first Sunday screening just last year.

• READ MORE: First mosque in Western Isles opens its doors

Islanders have recalled when transvestite comedian Eddie Izzard played Stornoway Town Hall.

According to accounts, only six tickets sold for the night but after a minister was quoted in the Stornoway Gazette saying the comedian was an abomination, the event sold out.

Councillor Angus McCormack (Independent), who represents Stornoway South, welcomed the Hebridean Pride event.

He said: “I am very happy that it is going to take place and I hope it will be widely supported.

“Now perhaps that these events are happening through Scotland, people are beginning to recognise the needs of all communities.”