Humanists and atheists alike are often accused of being a negative group, in that they don’t really do anything positive, just bouncing off religion in a negative way. This event is one way that I can show humanists being positive in their outlook, in contrast to the intolerance of some religious people towards other social groups.
The student humanist society decided to run a stall at Pride Glasgow mainly for three reasons: 1, to show that we as humanists support LGBT rights. 2, to promote humanism in the community. 3, to have a good time experiencing a less than ordinary event, and get to know better a section of society that perhaps normally we would not. It followed on from our attendance at Pride Scotia in Edinburgh last year, an event which we will likely be attending again next summer. This time Gareth and I went to run the stall as lots of the society were busy with one thing or another.
The parade itself was nothing like I’d ever seen. Aside from the usual revellry which I’d seen on TV, there were groups of people there that I didn’t expect. Generally I was quite surprised at the wide variety of people wandering through the stalls, from people I’d normally call neds or scallies all the way over the spectrum to metalheads covered in piercings, incorporating in between normal looking people who could’ve been strolling through the streets of Milton Keynes. I was happy to see the Buddhists there, but nobody from the University society BLOGS was represented, much to my surprise. That said, the Glasgow student union marched in the parade, and there were plenty of other groups that I knew nothing about. I was also surprised to see a Christian organisation there (the Metropolitan Community Church, I think they deserve a post of their own), and I was very surprised when I saw the Conservative Party with a stall.
All in all I enjoyed the day. There was a lot of variety, people seemed interested in humanism and we even got some people from the University interested in coming to some of our meetings. We were giving out materials from GALHA, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, but it was a shame that we didn’t have any materials about humanist partnerships from the HSS. Apparently the courier who was supposed to deliver them was involved in a road accident so I hope they’re not too badly hurt. I was particularly impressed when they got the rainbow flag hoisted up above the city chambers, which apparently is the first time that’s happened. Hopefully this reflects a greater degree of acceptance of LGBT people in the community.