STIRLING is set to host its very first LGBT+ Pride event.

It comes after nearly 300 Forth Valley residents filled out a survey from Creative Stirling, LGBT Youth Scotland, and the University of Stirling which sought to gauge levels of support for a Pride event in the Forth Valley.

More than 90% of respondents backed an event, with the majority calling for it to be held in Stirling city centre.

“At that point, we got all of the relevant authorities into a room and said ‘we need to make this happen’,” Scott McMurray, one of the event’s organisers, told The National.

“It was clear that there was demand for it.”

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McMurray said that while responses to the survey were overwhelming positive they also revealed some apprehension amongst LGBT+ people in the area.

“I think there was a feeling that Stirling is maybe not quite as LGBT+ friendly as it could be,” he said.

“One of the questions the survey asked was ‘if there was a Pride event in Stirling, how confident would you feel attending it?’

“The responses to that were considerably less positive than most of the other questions, which I think showed a certain level of anxiety about being outwardly LGBT+ in Stirling.

“It’s a university city so you would think it might be a bit more open. But I think that’s why we’ve become more adamant about holding it out in the public.

“It would’ve been easy for us just to hire a hall somewhere and hold it behind closed doors.

“But we don’t want that. We need to be visible”.

The National: Ian McKellan speaks at the first Perthshire Pride event in 2019Ian McKellan speaks at the first Perthshire Pride event in 2019

McMurray said that organisers have taken inspiration from similar events which have popped up across Scotland in recent years, particularly Perthshire Pride and Lanarkshire Pride.

“We want to keep it really based in the community,” he added.

“We’re really lucky to have a lot of independent businesses in Stirling and we want to make sure that everyone benefits from it.”

A crowdfunder has been launched to help bring the event to life later this year.

Organisers are looking to raise £1000 to help with set-up costs and decorations.

“The plan is we’re going to have a road closure right in the middle of Stirling on King Street.

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“They’ll be a stage at the bottom with all sorts of performers throughout the afternoon.

“There’s no parade this year as we need to figure out how many people will turn up before we can start organising that with the police but it’s something we’re considering for the future.

“It will be accessible, free and family friendly.

“We’ve also had positive discussions with a big-name headliner and they’re quite keen but there’s obviously a cost to that.”

After announcing the event on X/Twitter, McMurray was subject to a stream of objections from people denouncing it as “nonsense”.

“We’ve deliberately not set up a Twitter page for that very reason,” he said. “We knew it would be toxic.

“But it really just shows why it’s so important. It’s also why we were so keen to hold a public survey so we had something to say back to these people.

“It was public, we did it in-person and online and it was in all the local papers. It wasn’t hidden.

“So, the fact that we got an overwhelmingly positive response just shows that these folk, although they’re very vocal on Twitter, are in the minority.”

The event is due to take place on September 21.