Reported by The Herald – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

It was a ground-breaking event that broke the mould for how LGBT people across Scotland were viewed and treated.

Now more than 25 years since it launched, the Glasgay! Festival may no longer exist, but its legacy remains.

Launched just 12 years after homosexuality was decriminalised in Scotland, Glasgay was the first of its kind and gave mainly lesbian and gay artists a much-needed platform to showcase their talents.

Later producers expanded the concept to include commissions from LGBT artists including makar Jackie Kay and the late performer Diane Torr.

Legendary film maker John Waters, comedian Alan Carr and actor Sir Ian McKellen were also among the line-up.

Founded with a backdrop of Section 28 legislation – when UK local authorities were banned from publishing material about, or promoting, homosexuality – Glasgay! wasn’t without controversy.

Articles from the time stated that the “arty farty festival for homosexuals” was “beyond a joke” while others decried organisers, saying it was a waste of public money.

Cordelia Ditton, co-founder of Glasgay!, explained: “It was kind of bonkers – so outlandish.

“One of the articles I remember reading literally talked about ‘the twilight world of the homosexual’. I thought ‘you cannot have a paper like this, talking about gay people like that’.



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