MSPs mark Purple Friday to support young LGBT Scots

MSPs from all parties at Holyrood have joined together to give their backing to LGBT young people in Scotland.

A campaign by LGBT Youth Scotland (LGBTYS) called Purple Friday encourages people to use the colour as a show of support for the LGBT community.

It comes as Scotland recognises LGBT history month for the duration of February.

A theme for the month was chosen as “Catalyst: 50 Years of Activism”, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings in New York in 1969, as well as the birth of the modern Pride movement.

A record-breaking 125 events have been run by community and cultural organisations across Scotland this year to recognise the month.

Purple Friday aims to inspire people to be catalysts for positive change in their schools and workplaces.

Fergus McMillan, LGBT Youth Scotland chief executive, said: “Purple Friday is one of our most enjoyable moments of the year here at LGBT Youth Scotland.

“It gives us the chance to celebrate and showcase the brilliant work that our partner organisations and schools do across Scotland.

“It is particularly heartening to see Scottish political party leaders standing alongside colleagues to show visible leadership and inspire others to be catalysts for positive change for LGBT young people across Scotland.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government will continue to champion LGBTI equality.

“Scotland is considered to be one of the most progressive countries in Europe regarding LGBTI equality and I’m proud to support Purple Friday,” she said.

“The Scottish Government is committed to continuing to champion equality and fairness and the work done by organisations like LGBT Youth Scotland is vital in helping to do this.

“Last year we also announced we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.”

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie said: “The progress we’ve made toward equality hasn’t happened by magic – those 50 years of activism have involved hard work, courage and personal risk from generations of LGBT people.

“Purple Friday is a time to reflect on our history, and on the history that’s yet to be made. There is still work to do, from ending the viciousness of immigration and asylum policies which still deport people to places where their lives are at risk, to the aggressive media backlash we’re seeing against trans people’s human rights.”

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