It’s a classic example of how to turn a negative into a positive.
When Sarah Drummond, 29, and her partner were subjected to allegedly homophobic abuse on a Glasgow-Stirling train near Alloa in May, she admitted publicly that her emotions were raw – tearful, shaking, and angry at herself that she hadn’t been stronger in coping with the situation.
But after dealing with the immediate aftermath – a woman has since been charged – she and her partner have channelled the incident into an Alloa Pride event celebrating LGBTI rights on Saturday 13 August from 11am to 11pm.
Already, more than 100 people have expressed interest in going, even before details of the event have been released.
Sarah said: “When I posted the story on my blog, it went viral. Someone even created a hashtag for it, so we decided it would be fun to create Alloa Pride.
“My partner and I made a Facebook event, and people found it before we even made it official. We have been in touch with a local LGBT youth club who want to help organise it.”
According to Sarah, she and her partner are hosting Alloa Pride to celebrate equality in small places in Scotland.
“It is a positive response to something negative that happened. I think particularly people fought for equal rights in the past and many are taking it for granted that we have that today.
“What happened to us on the train was quite shocking. We just want to make a positive standard. Everyone should treat each other with respect, and it is particularly important in areas where there is less population and diversity.”
She wrote on her blog after the event: “It has been terrifying to think about rejection, that you don’t fit the heterosexual mould. It needs to be out in the streets and the public eye because everyone should feel free to be open about their sexualities and backgrounds.”
Statistics show that 82% of LGBTI youngsters have been bullied at school because of their sexual orientation.
Sarah said: “It’s immoral. It is unacceptable. It is an issue because we should all be able to feel safe and comfortable. If you are not hurting anybody else, it should be fine.
“I think that because the background of Alloa Pride is of two people facing a story of discrimination in public, that it sends a positive message attached to it. People don’t need to feel alone. We can show the world that this is normal,” she added.
The first Pride march in Scotland took place in Edinburgh in, when it was estimated 3000 people took part.
For more information about Alloa Pride, visit https://www.facebook.com/Alloa-Pride-837218963077529/