A group which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is launching a social media campaign encouraging people to give their backing online.
People can join the #blydepride anti-homophobia campaign on Twitter and Facebook by posting a selfie with a rainbow, or having a picture taken with the #blydepride squad, who will be dressed in their rainbow gear at the Lerwick Summer Carnival on 18th June.
Tweet your selfies with a rainbow to show your support for Shetland’s LGBTQ+ community and to take a stand against homophobia. #blydepride
— Blydepride (@blydepride) May 31, 2016
The #blydepride squad will also be at the Cunningsburgh Show on 10th August, where they invite the public will be invited to bring rainbow competition entries to their stall.
Sponsorship to fund the awareness raising campaign has been supported by the local Unison branch and by NHS Shetland’s Endowments fund.
NHS Shetland chairman Ian Kinniburgh said: “I’m delighted that NHS Shetland is involved in the organisation and support of this campaign. Research evidence clearly suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experience significant health inequalities, in particular in relation to mental health and I hope that this campaign will support service improvement and reduce discrimination across Shetland.”
The term ‘blydepride’ has been chosen as a Shetland take on gay pride and also as a positive use of the Shetland language. One of the key aims of the campaign is to challenge the homophobia and transphobia that appears to be ingrained in parts of Shetland’s culture.
The campaign will be aimed particularly at men and young people.