There are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in every part of Scotland from our biggest cities to our smallest settlements and islands. While LGBTI equality has progressed considerably in recent years the lived experience of LGBTI communities in urban settings is vastly different to that of LGBTI communities in more rural and island settings.
Our Scottish LGBT Equality Report highlighted that the experiences of LGBT people vary considerably across the country. Those living in rural parts of Scotland report a significantly worse experience than those living in urban areas, including more prejudice, greater isolation, and less access to local services that meet their needs.
- Almost a quarter of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (24%) described their local area as a ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ place for LGBT people to live, compared to 12% of those living in urban areas.
- Almost half of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (47%) said they feel isolated where they live because they are LGBT, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of those living in urban areas.
- A majority of LGBT respondents living in rural areas (55%) said that services in their local area do not meet the specific needs of LGBT people, compared to a third (30%) of those living in urban areas.
- Six out of ten LGBT respondents living in rural areas (59%) regularly travel outside of their local area to access LGBT services, compared to just over a third (35%) of those living in urban areas.
- Four out of ten LGBT respondents (43%) have either moved, or considered moving, to live in a different area because of being LGBT.
That’s why we’re holding our biggest conversation yet, and we want you to take part. Why not join us and share your experiences of LGBTI life outside our biggest cities.
Where we’ll be
We plan to visit 50 locations across Scotland, from Shetland in the North to Stranraer in the South. We’re holding LGBTI information street stalls, events and coffee meetings all over Scotland.
LGBTI Information Street Stalls: We’ll be pitching our Gazebo on high Sstreets and town centres in over 30 locations. Providing information on LGBTI issues, chatting to local people about equality and carrying information from partner organisations like LGBT Health, Stonewall Scotland, LEAP Sports and LGBT Youth Scotland.
Further Out Events: We want to bring LGBTI people together to discuss what life is like for them in their communities and what can be done to bridge the LGBTI equality gap with urban Scotland. We’re planning 15 events in community centres, libraries and theatres.
Coffee Meetings: We want as many people as possible to get involved, but we know that for some very rural and island communities sometimes there aren’t the numbers to have events so that’s why we’re happy to meet up for a coffee and a chat to discuss your experiences.
Rural Survey: In 2015 we published the Scottish LGBT Equality Report, it highlighted an LGBTI rural / urban divide that’s why we’ll launch a survey on Monday 27th September to better capture the experiences of LGBTI Scots outside our urban centres.
We’re working to get permission from local authorities to hold street stalls, and will post more detailed information about where we’re going to be as soon as we get it. Here is what we know so far:
|Kirkcaldy||Mon 27th Mar||Street Stall||High Street|
|Glenrothes||Mon 27th March||Event||Rothes Halls||Register here|
|Perth||Tues 28th March||Street Stall||High Street|
|Perth||Tues 28th March||Event||A K Bell Library||Register here|
|Arbroath||Wed 29th March||Street Stall||Applegate|
|Montrose||Wed 29th March||Street Stall||Townhouse, High St|
|Arbroath||Wed 29th March||Event||Webster Theatre||Register here|
|Stonehaven||Thurs 30th March||Street Stall||Market Square|
|Lerwick||Sat 1st April||Street Stall||Harrison Square|
|Lerwick||Sat 1st April||Event||Shetland Museum||Register here|
|Peterhead||Mon 3rd April||Street Stall||Drummers Corner|
|Peterhead||Mon 3rd April||Event||Palace Hotel||Register here|
|Elgin||Tues 4th April||Street Stall||High Street|
|Elgin||Tues 4th April||Event||Elgin Youth Cafe||Register here|
|Aviemore||Wed 5th April||Street Stall||Grampian Road|
|Portree, Skye||Thurs 6th April||Street Stall||Somerled Square|
|Portree, Skye||Thurs 6th April||Event||SLCVO||Register here|
|North Uist/Benbecula||Fri 7th April||Coffee Meeting||Contact Us||Contact Us|
|Stornoway||Sat 8th April||Street Stall||An Lanntair|
|Stornoway||Sat 8th April||Event||An Lanntair||Register here|
|Ullapool||Mon 10th April||Street Stall||Harbour|
|Durness||Tues 11th April||Coffee Meeting||Contact Us|
|Stromness||Wed 12th April||Street Stall||TBC|
|Kirkwall||Thurs 13th April||Street Stall||TBC|
|Kirkwall||Thurs 13th April||Event||St Magnus Centre||Register here|
|Thurso||Fri 14th April||Street Stall||Rotterdam/High St|
|Wick||Fri 14th April||Streetstall||High Street|
|Thurso||Fri 14th April||Event||Caithness Horizons||Register here|
|Inverness||Sat 15th April||Street Stall||High Street|
|Fort William||Mon 17th April||Street Stall||High Street|
|South Uist||Tues 18th April||Coffee Meeting||Contact Us|
|Barra||Wed 19th April||Coffee Meeting||Contact Us|
|Tiree||Thurs 20th April||Coffee Meeting||Contact Us|
|Coll||Thurs 20th April||Coffee Meeting||Contact Us|
|Tobermory, Mull||Sat 22nd April||Street Stall||Main Street|
|Oban||Mon 24th April||Street Stall||George St/Stafford St|
|Oban||Mon 24th April||Event||Atlantis Leisure||Register here|
|Colonsay||Tues 25th April||Coffee Meeting||Contact Us|
|Bowmore, Islay||Wed 26th April||Coffee Meeting||Contact Us|
|Campbeltown||Thurs 27th April||Event||Town Hall||Register here|
|Arran||28th -30th April||Pride Camp||Kildonan||Click here for info|
|Irvine||Mon 1st May||Street Stall||Bridgegate|
|Kilmarnock||Mon 1st May||Street Stall||The Cross|
|Kilmarnock||Mon 1st May||Event||Break The Silence||Register here|
|Ayr||Tues 2nd May||Street Stall||Kyle Street|
|Cumnock||Tues 2nd May||Street Stall||Townhead Street|
|Girvan||Wed 3rd May||Street Stall||Dalrymple Street|
|Stranraer||Wed 3rd May||Street Stall||George Street|
|Dumfries||Thurs 4th May||Street Stall||High Street|
|Dumfries||Thurs 4th May||Event||LGBTPlus||Register soon|
|Jedburgh||Fri 5th May||Street Stall||TBC|
|Eyemouth||Fri 5th May||Street Stall||TBC|
|Selkirk||Sat 6th May||Street Stall||TBC|
|Galasheils||Sat 6th May||Event||Mac Arts||Register here|
If you live on Scotland’s Islands and would be interested in meeting us please email Scott [at] equality-network.org