Thursday 23 May 2024
 11°C   NE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Preparations underway for Shetland’s first Pride event

The Lerwick Town Hall has regularly flown the rainbow flag. This picture was taken in 2019. Photo: SIC

SHETLAND is gearing up to host its first ever – and the UK’s most northerly – Pride event on the first weekend of July.

It will last 13 hours, starting with a parade in the morning and finishing with a variety show at the Islesburgh Community Centre.

The morning parade kicks off at 11am at the Market Cross and will end at Gilbertson Park where a Pride village will be set up. The parade will feature the Lerwick Jarl Squad’s galley and have two drag artists who have come up from Glasgow to perform.

Kerrie Meyer, founder of Shetland Pride, is leading the committee and has been planning Shetland Pride for over a year.

She said: “Promoting equality, diversity and inclusivity is really important for people in the LGBTQ+ community.

“Folk are very kind and supportive in Shetland, but the idea of our Pride that joins 27 other Pride’s in Scotland, is to show the whole community we not only exist and are here to stay, but we share the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. After all, 10 folk out of a 100 are LGBTQ+!”

The Pride village will be open all day and is a family event. There will be performers, a DJ, a bouncy castle and a variety of local exhibitors. The Pride committee will also sell LGBT merchandise and souvenirs.

Meyer first had the idea to do a Shetland Pride when she moved to Shetland, after running monthly LGBTQ+ events from her house in Sussex alongside her wife Diane.

She started LGBTQ Shetland to create some community for the LGBTQ+ community in Shetland. Kerrie solidified her plans to create a pride event during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She added: “It’s going to be awesome. We’ve had people confirm they’re coming up from the mainland to attend, and as far away as Sweden and Australia.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

Shetland Pride has registered charity status, and received funding from the National Lottery to support the event.

The Pride committee created a short film by Chris Harris, to spread the message about the meaning of Pride, focusing on diversity, inclusivity, equality, and acceptance.

Local bands will play at Islesburgh Community Centre from 7pm until midnight, including Zdenka and the Dirty Lemons. Additional performances will come from drag artists RuJazzle and Lily Minogue, alongside Roxy Stardust, a burlesque dancer. Kaela & Astryd Jamieson will also play fiddle and accordion music.

Zdenka said: “Pride is something that’s very close to my heart, and I can’t wait to perform at the very first Shetland Pride.”

Chris Coles, drummer for both The Fiction and Zdenka, has even changed the second night of his wedding to play at the event – after seeking permission from the bride.

He and Naomi Lewis have been together for 11 years. They are both excited to have the unique experience of blending their second night into Pride.

Coles said: “I was initially apprehensive, because it was going to be such a full-on weekend with the wedding on Friday night, but it would huge, missed opportunity if we didn’t perform at Shetland’s first ever Pride event.

“We are so excited to have the chance to celebrate being newly married while also supporting our local LGBTQ+ community.”

Meyer said: “You don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to attend, anyone can come along, and everyone is welcome. The Pride village is a family event. We’re just hoping that everyone comes out to support us.

“We are aware that homophobia and transphobia sadly still exists, so we have licensed security personnel and police presence who will be at the events.”

She added they are still looking for volunteers to support the parade, the Pride village, and help with the evening concert.

Anyone who is over 18 and wishes to volunteer can contact kerrie@shetlandpride.uk. Volunteers are also being entered into a prize draw with Loganair to win free flights.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.