I do hope that I find you all well today. Today's post is quite a special one to me. Not only am I talking about a killer outfit (I am, fear not!) but i'm also going to be discussing something that is very near and dear to my heart- Pride.
Last Saturday the 30th June was the date of Edinburgh's Annual Pride. For those of you who aren't aware, Pride is an annual celebration held in large cities across the world aiming to bring together the LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) community, as well as straight and cis friends and allies. We march in solidarity with our queer brothers and sisters in opposition to the years of oppression and hardship faced by this community and promote a clear message of equality for all.
Pride is something that has special value to me; I am an openly bisexual woman and a strong advocate for LGBT+ rights both locally and nationally. I often volunteer with the incredible charity organisation Stonewall and work part-time supporting a local LGBT+ youth group. To me, Pride is so much more than just rainbows and parties- it's a political revolution. It's having our voices heard. It's queer liberation.
I am lucky enough to be loved and supported for who I am by my family and friends, something that unfortunately cannot be said for all LGBT people. When people ask me why i'm involved in LGBT+ activism I tell them that it would be foolish for me not to be. In a world where 40% of homeless youth are LGBT, LGBT people are at much higher risk of suffering with mental illness and they face adversity, discrimination and difficulty accessing everyday services I believe it is not only my right, but also my duty to stand up and support my LGBT family, friends and community.
I regularly attend pride events. In the past I've been to London, Brighton, Glasgow and Edinburgh prides and last year I even co-organised a Pride march in my hometown of West Lothian (if you like, you can read more about that here). This year's Edinburgh pride was however without a doubt my favourite one yet. In the wake of the horrors faced by the people of Orlando and PULSE nightclub, as well as increasing political uncertainty over human and equal rights within the United Kingdom Pride could not be more needed at this point in time. Signs declaring "We stand with Orlando" and "Love is love" were displayed proudly and there was a real air of positivity and sense of community. People were happily chatting, mingling and complementing one another - it was a truly humbling experience to be in amongst a movement that was so human, filled with raw emotion.
My time at Pride was spent proudly marching alongside upwards of 10,000 other incredible individuals through the City Centre and then followed by some volunteering with Stonewall's new #ByYourSide campaign- speaking to members of the public and letting them know all about this wonderful new initiative that brings people together and asks who supports you and allows you to be your truest self.
Being able to talk to so many wonderful people was incredibly liberating and really helped me embrace the meaning of Pride and get into the spirit of things. Proudly sporting a rainbow scarf and some of my brightest clothes also helped me open dialogue with many people, allowing conversation to flow naturally as everyone embraced the joyous occasion.
Pride at it's heart is about acceptance without exception, being true to who you are and feeling safe and supported to do that. I for one am a huge advocate of being your most authentic self at all times and wearing bright colours and loud clothing really helps me to accomplish that. For Pride, I decided to sport a flower crown, Ragged Priest scarf and my bright yellow Mary Blair skirt from Pinupgirl clothing. I also threw some glitter and stars on my face for good measure, because why the hell not?
Below are a few of the photos I took that I think really capture the essence of what Pride was for me- an incredible revolutionary day that was good for the mind, body and soul. Enjoy!
Flower Crown: Frankii Wilde
Flower Crown: Frankii Wilde
And that's all for now, darlings. If you have a Pride event coming up in your hometown or a city near you I would greatly encourage you to attend and embrace the rainbow revolution.
Until next time,