Pride planning a bigger event this year after huge success of first Dundee march

Stacey Grubb at last year's event
Stacey Grubb at last year's event

Pride celebrations offer people from LGBT+ communities and their allies a chance to express themselves in a safe, fun and welcoming environment.

However, they also act as an important arena in the fight for equality and acceptance.

Dundee Pride co-chair Tim Kelly spoke to the Tele to tell us about this year’s event and why it’s so important for the city’s lesbian, gay, trans plus population.

Tim said: “Unfortunately homophobia and transphobia are issues the community is increasingly dealing with at the moment.

“We’ve seen homophobic attacks take place in Dundee within the past year.

“We need straight allies to come and get involved in the celebrations to show there is no place for hate in Dundee.”

Dundee Pride held its first celebration last year – and it was a runaway success.

Organisers held consultations to get an insight into the demand for a Dundee-based event.

Although confident of a good turnout for the march and City Square celebration, no one had predicted several thousand people would attend.

Tim said: “We were so happy and so humbled at last year’s turn out. We couldn’t believe how many people attended.

“It was amazing to see so much support from local businesses, the council and the police, who all helped make the event a great success.”

Their consultation also found young LGBT+ people in Dundee felt underserved and under-represented.

Tim said: “Lots of young people said they felt like they needed to leave the city so they could be themselves.

“We realised this could be because they had little chance to meet role models due to their limited interaction with the rest of the LGBT+ community.

“We wanted to create an environment where people of all ages can celebrate themselves and look ahead to a bright future.”

To make young people feel more included, organisers created a designated Youth Zone in partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland.

The area featured a range of entertainment and activities for young people and their families.

Dundee Pride organisers aim to have their celebrations follow the format of cities like Glasgow and Brighton.

They hope to run a range of events from club nights to workshops and theatre events in the weeks leading up to the main event.

This year’s march will take place on Saturday September 21, culminating in a special event in Slessor Gardens.

Preparations have been mired in controversy, after a headline act Peyton Rose was dropped amid allegations they threatened to “throat punch” members of a women’s group.

Organisers say the new location will allow Dundee to have the “Pride party it deserves”.

Such was the popularity of last year’s event, the city centre – which hosted the inaugural march – has been deemed too small.

There will be a whole host of entertainment and activities on show, as well as a range of refreshments.

Applications for acts and traders will open on April 9 and close on June 17.

The first acts performing will be announced mid-July.

After-parties are also planned to take place across Dundee’s LGBT+ venues. Organisers are running monthly “Pride blethers” leading up to the event for people to find out more information, as well as to meet more people within the community.

The next blether takes place on April 9 from 6.30pm in Church on Ward Road.