The sun came out for Pride Edinburgh as did thousands of people who paraded from Holyrood to the Meadows to celebrate.
Several politicians made speeches from the top of the double decker bus at Holyrood marking the the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York.
Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities, began by explaining that in Lithuania where she had visited recently, they had had to suspend their Pride march but she hoped it would take place in a few days time. Referring to The Scottish Government’s decision to delay action on the Gender Recognition Act to allow time for more consultation over the summer, she said : “We may have hit a few bumps in the road recently but we are not going to stop walking with you on that journey for equality.”
City of Edinburgh councillor Max Mitchell offered a very personal account of what it is like to be gay when he said :”When I think back to when I was 19 and was kissed in public by a man for the first time, I was so nervous. Not nervous about being kissed but so scared how the people around us would react and what they might do.” He explained that even as recently as last year he was verbally abused during the Fringe for being gay.
He said : “Not all parties have got it right and mine is included there. Recently there has been so much change in attitude and so much progress made. I think it is right to look at our past and acknowledge where some got it right immediately, but so many got it wrong.
“I think it is so much more important to look to our future. We have to ensure that what is our right and what is law is what we enjoy day to day in our lives. It is not necessarily even being accepted into society any more, but being part of society.”
Patrick Harvie MSP co-convener of the Scottish Green Party, encouraged everyone to stand together in the same way as he had done during the campaign against Section 28 in the 1990s. This was the law which forbade local government from promoting homosexuality in schools. He said :”Those within our communities who are experiencing that same level of hatred, of stigma of aggression and in this case of transphobia. They need to know that we will stand together again.”
More photos are on our Facebook page. But here is a flavour of the lovely, colourful, happy marchers who were out on the streets on Saturday.
The event was sponsored by Manchester Airport who regard Edinburgh as one of their main customer sources, only a train ride or a few hours drive away. Crew from Virgin Atlantic one of their biggest holiday airlines accompanied them to Pride in Scotland’s capital.