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In Namibia gays are lower than dogs. In Egypt they’re in hiding. If you think SCOTTISH PRIDE is irrelevant, just open your eyes.

Words: John Binnie

olitics are boring. We

watch it happen on TV.

One world crisis after another. Suicide bombings in Israel. Pakistan and India threatening each other with nuclear weapons and an ineffectual American president. barely respected across the world. In our own country. Tony Blair is blandness personified. There‘s a rise in teenage suicides. more single people than ever before are living on their own. only the internet connects them. If we are a generation who are apolitical. who find it impossible to connect with world events. why would we take part in a political march for lesbian. gay. bisexual and transgender equality through Glasgow?

Because we can. Imagine living in Egypt where. since a recent police raid on a boat thought to be a gay disco. homosexual men have gone into hiding. With sentences of up to five years with hard labour and villification in the press. being gay in Egypt doesn’t allow for marching.

In Namibia. where the president has decreed that homosexuals are lower in the social scale than dogs. they could go on a human rights march. but never a gay march for fear of being expelled from their homeland. And Russia is trying to pass a law that would make gay sex a criminal offence.

‘The 2002 Scottish Pride Festival is the most amb- itious ever attempted. with satellite events happening all over Scotland.‘ says Stuart Hammond. Pride festival week co—ordinator. ‘It's the only national Pride event. Pride is happening throughout an entire country. not just one city. Mardi Gras really only affects London. likewise Brighton Pride only happens there.‘

Scottish Pride is reaching out to lnverness. Aberdeen. Stirling. Dundee. Falkirk. Dumfries as well as Edinburgh and Glasgow. It's all very well being out

and proud in Edinburgh‘s Broughton Street triangle or

in Glasgow's Merchant City. but it’s scarier when you‘re geographically isolated.

So what is involved in Scottish Pride‘.’ All councils have been requested to raise the Rainbow flag outside their headquarters during the week. Glasgow City Council ‘A good friend to Pride Scotland in terms of financial support and the clear support of many council officials.‘ says Hammond will hold a civic reception and guarantees the flag will fly on two days.

There’s an out-of-touch minister in lnverness circulating a nasty letter to his parishioners


Once more in the name of love

If Pride provides Edinburgh council with a rainbow flag. then it will fly it. The police have sponsored the flag in Aberdeen. Naturally. there's an out-of—touch Church of Scotland minister in lnverness who is appalled at such a gesture. and circulating a nasty letter to all his parishioners calling for a halt to such llagrancy. lnverness. keen to be considered City of Culture in 2008. promises the rainbow flag will fly.

A Priscilla Performing Bus. modelled on the .~\ustralian drag queen transporter. is touring round the country unloading camp followers to entertain the local populace. Bus passengers include Diverse Artists. the lesbian and gay arts group. Such a high profile tour may be hazardous. even frightening. There may be homo- phobic attention as the Priscilla Bus tries to get a party going in some of the more isolated locations. but the gesture is a defiant one. And it should get lots of media attention.

The week of Pride activities is eclectic. Activities range from lesbians climbing up Ben Wyvis in Inverness to hoist the rainbow flag. to a wet women T-shirt competition in Liberty's bar in Dundee.

Aberdeen hosts its own Petite Pride in Duthie Park on Sunday 16 June. There are competitions for best dressed gay pub. Pride karaoke singers and Drag King and Queen beauty pageants. Edinburgh's Lesbian and Gay centre has a barbecue and the Glasgow LGBT Centre has a summer fete.

All this precedes the biggest Scottish Pride march of them all on Saturday 22 June in Glasgow. As Jaye Richards. Pride Scotland's chair says: ‘Anyone can throw a party. we‘re changing the world.’

Scottish Pride runs Fri 14-Sat 22 Jun.

listings Gay


It's been billed as 'lowbrow homo hurdy gurdy'. 'a night of gay shame and lesbian weakness' and an ‘upmarket ponce palace'. But no matter what they tell you. Duckie is coming to Glasgow and it is intent on making the CCA more of a moshpit than an art space.

Normally based in London. Duckie is a contradictory cross between a club. theatre and cabaret mixing dance. music. art and performance. ‘We have been skating about on broken glass with a load of drunks for seven years.’ says Duckie promoter Simon Casson. ‘We are the equivalent of the rough girls at school who used to bully you.’

Now with a wad of money from the Arts Council of England in their hand they are tOuring this infamous post- gay kunst-discotheque around the UK where they intend to ‘bring the arthouse into the doss house'.

Casson believes that they have 'risen from the graveyard of gay culture'. A Culture which he strongly believes is not only dead but oppressive with naff communities. They work with ‘homosexualists' and attract a mainly homosexual crowd. but they also appeal to a wider mixed audience. When they arrive in Glasgow they intend to entertain their audience with contemporary dance companies the Cholmondeleys and the Featherstonehaughs. the wonderful unisex London Readers Wives Dds and live music from tumble weed electro combo the Victims of Death. Hosted by Miss Amy Lame there will be bingo as well as a heady mix of musical styles ranging from the Strokes to the Sex Pistols. To add to the perversion and voyeurism of the evening there will also be an audience participaIOry confessional of sexual fantasies installation.

Throw a club night. contemporary dance. queers. cabaret. bingo. dance. visual art. dressing up and live music into a bag. mix it all up and you get Duckie. an “all boozing. all smoking. all dancing. late night, post gay sheebeen'. So go on. get with the picture. join the post gay movement and try out this new and challenging and above all. fun. night of magical mayhem . (Jane Hamilton)

6-20 Jun 2002 THE LIST 87