Older age groups celebrate LGBT community at Scotland's first Silver Pride

Around 180 community members attended the unique Silver Pride festival at Kilmarnock’s Park Hotel to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.

An East Ayrshire hotel was awash with colour on Thursday as love and acceptance was at the forefront of Scotland’s first Pride event for older adults.

Around 180 community members attended the unique Silver Pride festival at Kilmarnock’s Park Hotel to celebrate diversity and inclusivity for older adults who identify as, or work with those who identify as LGBT.

Targeted to over 65s, care home residents and social care recipients were treated to a day of rainbow glitz and glamour – along with educational information to support LGBT members of the community.

Speaking about the event, organiser Arlene Bunton, the independent sector lead at Scottish Care said: “So this is the first ever event that’s specifically for older adults. It’s targeted to over 65s, we’ve got residents that have come from our care homes, we’ve got social care recipients from out in the community. 

“But we’ve also got some young people here that have brought along their grans and their grandpas to let them understand them that wee bit better. So it’s kind of opening up these conversations and putting the people back into it.”

National Lottery funding was secured to host the event and to provide a program of training across the independent sector as well as to social work and social care staff.

But this does have real-life consequences too – experts say LGBT people are underrepresented when it comes to things like dementia research.

Drag artist and dementia lecturer, Phil ‘Philli Mi Up’ Harper, who was in attendance said: “I do a lot of care home pride so I’m used to performing for this type of audience and I think it’s about enabling people to continue to be themselves. And if you are from the LGBTQ+ community, if you get older, you get dementia, you go into care, you don’t stop being part of the LGBTQ+ community. So it’s about showing that care services, care is supportive of all needs.”

The event included 25 stalls from local community organisations such as Advocacy, SFRS, East Ayrshire Carers Centre, and internal departments, social care learning hub, and more.

Speakers included Com Mcbriarty from About Dementia, Dave Wilson Wynne from the University of Stirling, co-convener Trans Pride Scotland Jacqueline Wilde, ambassador to Alzheimer Society who is also living with Dementia and Patrick Ettennes and David Bingham from Terrence Higgins Trust.

Attendees were treated to the ‘Weekday Wow’ factor – a social enterprise of adults living with dementia, performing a flash mob as well as a performance by a drag artist.

The event came as Scotland’s census revealed new information on the trans and LGB+ community that is expected to help improve the lives of those living and working in the country.

The census included a question on trans status or history for the first time in 2022 with those over the age of 16 volunteering information on their identification.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in