First Minister to lead Pride Glasgow as Grand Marshal

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Pride Glasgow, Scotland’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) pride event, takes place this weekend. The event will get underway when thousands of LGBTI people and their allies march through the streets of Glasgow to Kelvingrove Park.

In a Glasgow Pride first, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, will be named honorary Grand Marshal as recognition of her long-standing support for LGBTI equality. She will lead the parade, along with 200 LGBTI young people from across Scotland, through the streets of Glasgow.

The First Minister is a staunch supporter of LGBTI equality. As Health Secretary she led on the initial development of equal marriage in Scotland and she has since said that the day equal marriage passed in the Parliament was one the proudest moments of her time as an MSP. As First Minister she has pledged to ensure trans equality by reforming Scotland’s outdated Gender Recognition Act to bring it up to international best practice.

Last year the First Minister became the first serving Prime or First Minister in the UK to address a pride event; this year she will become the first to march. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar have both marched in pride parades recently.

Over 8,000 people are expected to take part in the march from Clyde Place to Kelvingrove Park through the city centre, with over 50,000 spectators expected. As well as colourful floats and walking groups the march will include the Europe’s largest trans flag in support of transgender rights.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I’m proud that Scotland is considered to be one of the most progressive countries in Europe regarding LGBTI equality and Pride Glasgow is a fantastic event that brings communities together and celebrates all that LGBTI people bring to Scottish life. As a society we must champion equality and fairness at all times and defend the progress that has been made. I am pleased to be named as the first ever honorary Grand Marshal of Pride Glasgow and I look forward to joining young LGBTI people in the parade to mark Scotland’s Year of Young People.”

Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Pride Glasgow, said: “We’re delighted to name First Minister Nicola Sturgeon the first honorary Grand Marshal of Pride Glasgow in recognition of her longstanding support of LGBTI equality. We can’t wait to welcome her, and tens of thousands of others to the Glasgow Pride celebrations this weekend.”

Suki Wan MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP), said: “It’s an honour to have been asked to accompany the First Minister to open this year’s Pride Glasgow.

“Everyone in Scotland should feel safe and happy; safe to be who they are, and to love who they love. We know that isn’t the case for everyone, despite enormous steps which have been taken in recent years. That is why Pride is so important. It allows us to celebrate our differences, while uniting us in our commonalities.”