To mark this year’s PRIDE SCOTLAND march and party in celebration of gay and lesbian life, we ask past participants to reveal their first Pride experiences. Words: John Binnie. Photographs: Robin Mitchell

Simply Barbra

Drag diva. Also known as Steven Brinberg, he is starring in his one-person Barbra Streisand show at London 's Jennyn Street Theatre until 30 June. It was in the early 80s in New York. It was very warm. men were more naked than usual. I watched from a rooftop where the parade ended in Greenwich Village. I was overwhelmed at the sheer volume of people. New York Pride takes three-and-a-half hours to process and is the largest in the world. I remember going to the smallest Pride in the world. It was in Vemtont and only lasted the length of a block.

Ali Jarvis

Coordinator of Stonewall Scotland.

In London at Victoria Park. As a woman. I remember walking behind the banner for s.m. bears and being slightly afraid. But they were such a lovely group of men. They were so friendly.


Singer/songwriter who is doing a whole tour of

this year's Prides. She will be performing at London 's Mardi Gras ( 30 June ), Cologne (7 & 8 July). Newcastle (14 July) and Brighton (ll Aug). I love Brighton because it's a big fatnin day. The atmosphere is great. In Cologne. it‘s called Christopher Street Day and one million people are expected to attend. The German govemment has agreed to let same-sex couples marry for the first time.

Aileen Ritchie


London in 1993. I was worried about being caught out as the token straight woman on the march. and what should I wear? I soon realised that whatever I had chosen paled into insignificance compared to the camival-in-Brazil costumes. I remember the atmosphere of the occasion; people were friendly and really up for it. I was surprised by the hassle from the extreme religious zealots outside Brixton Park. I expected a degree of tolerance in the big city.

Paul Burston

Jounudist/novelist. His recent book. Shameless (Abacus £9.99) has a hilarious Pride chapter when a gay son has to take his hippyfather on the munch.

1985 in London. I‘d just moved to London from Bn'dgend. I went with my first ever boyfriend. I was amazed at the size of Pride. The march was politicised. Banners. shouting. so invigorating. 1 still recall the thrill of the West End part of the march. Elderly ladies with shopping looking on

16 THE LIST 21 Jun—5 Jul 2001

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44»v'-~-..~ agog. It rained. Afterwards we gay subwaycrushed to Kennington Park. Now it‘s not a march. it‘s a commercial concern run by a consortium of club promoters. And politics have disappeared.


Novelist. His book. The (Jay Decanteron (Indigo £6.99). is a jascinating story often gay men having an Edinburgh dinner party.

The first Edinburgh Pride in 1995. l was very tense because there had never been a Scottish Pride before. My kitchen overlooked the assembly point and I had invited friends round. Drinking champagne we watched the street down below becoming busier and busier.


Disability Awareness worker

The first Glasgow Pride in I996. My Pride memory is of feeling uplifted and genuinely happy with myself. Previously. I had been on so many other political marches. and supported various campaigns such as the anti-poll tax demos. but I felt Pride was something personal to myself. As a gay child growing up. I could never have imagined a Pride march happening in Glasgow. I recall happy. supportive folk looking at you and the noise reverberating as you walk down West George Street. Pride is political. It's about