PRIDE back in St Andrews
St Andrews PRIDE returned today (Saturday 1 April) for the first time since before the Covid pandemic, bringing together University of St Andrews students and staff and the local community to show that LGBTQ+ people are supported and welcomed in the town and across the county.
The longest running PRIDE event in Fife, St Andrews PRIDE parade first took place in April 2016. The march is organised by the Students’ Association subcommittee, Saints LGBT+, to bring together the whole St Andrews community, inviting students, residents, schools, businesses and charities to march through town to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.
For more than 40 years, LGBTQ+ groups at St Andrews have aimed to provide an open and safe environment for people to be who they are without fear of discrimination. During these four decades, much has changed for the better for LGBTQ+ students and staff at St Andrews. From one of the initial groups, GaySoc, to the formation of Saints LGBT+, each group has worked hard to promote equality, diversity and inclusivity at the University, and to provide a supportive environment regardless of sexuality or gender.
Today’s PRIDE parade started at 2pm from the Student Union building in St Mary’s Place, St Andrews, and saw hundreds of people dressed in rainbow colours and waving rainbow flags parade through town, ending up in the Spanish Gardens where the celebrations continued amid stalls from various student societies.
University of St Andrews Vice-Principal (People & Diversity), Rebekah Widdowfield, joined the celebration for the first time: “I am delighted to have taken part in my first PRIDE parade at St Andrews, and the first in the town since 2018. The University is committed to fostering an inclusive culture where everyone feels able to be themselves.
“Much has changed since the first major PRIDE march in Scotland in 1995, with the revocation of Section 28, the introduction of civil partnerships and, more recently, marriage equality and greater visibility of LGBTQ+ people in professional life and popular culture.
“Yet we know discrimination continues to exist both here in Scotland and across the world and PRIDE continues to provide an important opportunity to come together and visibly celebrate diversity and the LGBTQ+ community.”
It was also the first St Andrews PRIDE for Sofia Johnson, Saints LGBT+ Officer (2022-2023), who added: “This was the first St Andrews PRIDE in five years and the LGBTQIA+ community here brought it back in such an amazing way.
“This was my first ever PRIDE and my last LGBT+ event before I graduate. It was magical. Being surrounded by such love, joy and support overwhelmed me. It was a powerful reminder that, although our community is struggling right now, we are not going anywhere and we are PROUD.
“The LGBTQIA+ community is beautiful and I owe my life to everyone belonging to it. Thank you, St Andrews.”
Find out more about LGBT+ history and life at St Andrews on the website.
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.