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Five LBGT+ organisations, including Highland Pride, come together to launch The Scottish LGBTI+ Rainbow Mark


By Staff Reporter

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Jenny Valentine, Highlands and Islands Police; JessTaylor, Highland Pride; Scott Cuthbertson, Equality Network; Kath Pierce,Somewhere.Back row (l-r): Rebecca Holt, Eden Court Theatre and Cinema; Dr Iain Morrison, UHI;Graham Munro, Leap Sport Scotland; Thomas Anderson-Thatcher, Somewhere.
Jenny Valentine, Highlands and Islands Police; JessTaylor, Highland Pride; Scott Cuthbertson, Equality Network; Kath Pierce,Somewhere.Back row (l-r): Rebecca Holt, Eden Court Theatre and Cinema; Dr Iain Morrison, UHI;Graham Munro, Leap Sport Scotland; Thomas Anderson-Thatcher, Somewhere.

The new initiative, created by Highland Pride, Somewhere, Four Pillars, Dumfries and Galloway LGBT Plus and Equality Network, aims to promote and support inclusive places for the LGBT+ community in Scotland.

More than 50 people attended the launch event at Inverness Creative Academy on June 30.

The mark is a physical sign that can be displayed in social places such as cafés and gyms, to show the space is welcoming and respects LGBTI+ inclusion in Scotland.

Jessica Taylor from Highland Pride said: “Social and geographical isolation is a prevalent issue for our community in the Highlands – currently there are no dedicated LGBT+ social spaces in a geographical area of nearly 10,000 square miles, and this highlights the need to promote and support inclusive spaces so that people living here, or visiting, know they are welcome in their local café, library or shop.

“Joining up with partner organisations to launch the initiative has brought together a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise and we’re very proud to be part of it.

“We also know that many local organisations and businesses have been supportive of our work, and this gives us the opportunity to give something back to them whilst also benefitting LGBT+ people across Scotland and beyond.”

The police wtih the mark.
The police wtih the mark.

The event took place during Pride month and many local LGBT+ groups were in attendance, including Leap Sports.

Scott Cuthbertson, development manager at Equality Network added: “Knowing social spaces are inclusive can make a real difference for LGBTI+ people who may be isolated or maybe just looking for somewhere they don’t have to pretend to be someone else.

“We are pleased to be working with partners to this month launch the Scottish LGBTI+ Rainbow Mark to support more LGBTI+ inclusive spaces across Scotland. Visibility can have a big impact on reducing isolation for LGBTI+ people and knowing there are spaces nearby you can go to be yourself or meet others like you is one way we can help make Scotland more inclusive.”

Deejay Bullock, chief executive at Four Pillars, said: “This project is vital for our LGBT+ community members across Scotland, knowing and seeing a space is a safe space reduces fear and anxiety of just being out. Being able to sit in a venue and be comfortable in their own skin, being who they truly are, will have a positive impact on their mental, emotional, physical and sexual health.”

Sign up at https://www.equality-network.org/RainbowMark/.


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