Looking for a different way to celebrate your pride this year? After a hugely successful sophomore celebration in 2016, Free Pride returns for another weekend of events promoting LGBQT+ culture with an emphasis on inclusion. Free Pride is a Glasgow-based collective of intersectional and inclusive LGBQT+ aiming to provide an accessible and inclusive alternative to mainstream Pride celebrations.
On Saturday 19th August, Free Pride will be at the Art School, not just to make a radical stance against pink-washing but also to give people an educational and intellectually stimulating environment; with talks, live music and stalls follow by a night event of DJs and live performances, Free Pride aims to offer a broad range of events to broaden people’s perspectives and ideas. There will be an emphasis on accessibility, with BSL interpreters and a wheel-chair friendly venue with gender neutral toilets.
In a conscious defiance of charged mainstream Pride celebrations across the country, Free Pride aims to bring back LGBQT+ grassroots activism by placing a spotlight on voices that are not often heard within mainstream LGBQT+ community. Free Pride is about emphasising the changes that are still needed to make society safe for us, while actively contributing to making those changes ourselves. In short, they refuse to be silent.
There are several highlights throughout the day to inform and challenge visitors; there will be a huge variety of stalls fronted by the likes of LGBT Health & Wellbeing, Sex Workers Open University, Rape Crisis and many more. As well as these stalls, there will be discussions and workshops, ranging from talks from Fearless Domestic Violence, an LGBQT Disability workshop and introductions to zine making and coding. The celebrations will finish with night time performances from Sgaire Wood, Gloria and many more. In the lead up to Free Pride, the group is holding a screening of documentary Who Killed Marsha P. Johnson? As a fundraising event on Thursday 10th of August in CCA at 19.45. Johnson was a key player in the Stonewall riots of 1969, when resistance to police intervention spear-headed the modern gay rights movement in New York’s Greenwich Village. Johnson and fellow icon Sylvia Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR); together they were a visible presence at gay liberation marches and other radical political actions, as well as providing food and clothing to help support young drag queens, trans women and other street kids living on the streets. When the beloved, self-described “Street Queen” of New York’s Christopher Street died in 1992, the NYPD called her a death suicide. Protests erupted but the police remained impassive and refused to investigate. Now, twenty-five years on, documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson examines Marsha’s death and her extraordinary life.
There is no need to book, instead just attend on the night and make a suggested donation of £5. Guests are welcome in the CCA bar afterward for informal chat about the film. Accessible toilets will be available, the film will be shown in English language with English captions and there are discussions of violence, sexual assault, and suicide featured in the film.
Free Pride is an important and inspiring addition to Glasgow’s LGBQT community landscape; our city needs a compelling and thought-provoking platform that actively promotes diversity and accessibility within our community. Free Pride is a radical and inspirational alternative to mainstream Pride celebrations dedicated to giving a voice to those who are silenced.