Everything you need to know about Pride Month in Edinburgh
No rainbow washing or performative activism here
With Pride Month in full swing in Scotland’s capital, it can be easy to miss some fantastic events and groups.
We’ve collated some of the hottest events, queer spaces, and groups; so here’s absolutely everything you need to know about this year’s Edinburgh Pride!
Pride Month in the Capital
The Main Event: Pride Edinburgh will take over Bristo Square with a celebration of all things queer culture and life. Special guests already scheduled are former X-Factor contestant, Louisa Johnson, drag acts such as Danny Beard and Ellie Diamond of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK fame, and community stalls and exhibits. Moreover, there will be a parade through the streets of Edinburgh, starting at the Scottish Parliament and ending at Bristo Square, celebrating Equality, Love and Pride.
Join the LGBT Health and Wellbeing Centre for a Pride Crafternoon social to meet new people and try out new crafts, such as zine making and dough sculpting, for an inclusive event for those 16+. Pre-booking is essential, and tickets are free.
The University of Edinburgh is hosting two zine-making workshops for Pride Month in the Main library. The workshop features a discussion on the history of zine making by the Lothian Gay and Lesbian Switchboard archivist Eloise Birtwhistle before allowing attendees to make their own.
The team at Queer Film Night are hosting a Fundraiser party on the 14th of June at La Belle with all things queer music and culture. Tickets are £6, and the event offers a space to meet new people and fundraise for an amazing initiative. More information is available through the Queer Film Night Instagram account
Do you want to relax and unwind while enjoying queer company and (optional) tea and chat? The Salisbury Centre next to campus is running a weekly LGBT yoga class for all ability, mobility and experience levels. The group asks for a donation to help the teachers and space hire, and you can donate as little as £1 to join.
Year-round events and spaces
“But!” I hear you cry, “Pride Month isn’t the only time queer people appear.” That’s why we also want to showcase some year-round pride spaces, initiatives, and events so that you can stay up-to-date and in the know-all. Year. Round.
Billed as an Award Winning sober queer space, Kafe Kweer is open 8:30-5 pm (or 7 pm on Thursdays) every day throughout June, offering a space for affordable food, local art, groceries and monthly exhibitions. Co-owned by Oskar Hansen, also known as ‘Mystika Glamoor’ and Zak Riding, the cafe was created in 2020 and was formally known as The Greenwood. This month’s exhibition focuses on Gay Fantasia by Kat Macmillan, depicting dreams, nightmares and desires through the queer experience.
Queer Film Night is an Edinburgh Based initiative that meets on the second Tuesday of each month at the Edinburgh Student Housing Co-op, with screenings of queer classics such as Paris is Burning. Tickets for the screenings often sell out fast, so if you see that they’re screening your fav movie, you must act quickly.
Founded in 2021, Queer as Punk offers a space for Drag, Poetry and Live music through its events. In recent months the group have hosted a whole host of queer punk, garage and ska bands, such as the Unspeakable Mondays and Petrol Girls. Their upcoming events include a Queer Cabaret party at Leith Depot in July and a Pride After Party at the Wee Red Bar on the 24th of June.
Queer Swim Edinburgh is a free and non-profit weekly social swim in Granton, which offers a space for wild swimming at Wardie Bay Beach. The group fundraises for the charity Change Mental Health and aims to help participants improve their mental, physical and social health through weekly meets for all ability levels.
New this month is an initiative by LGBT Health and Wellbeing, Queer Therapy, which offers an 8-week course of group therapy for those over 16 in Edinburgh, focusing on self-acceptance. The group only has limited space, so if you can commit to the 8-week course on a Tuesday, send an email to [email protected]
Clubs and Pubs
Just across from Teviot House is Paradise Palms, a vegetarian and LGBTQ-friendly venue that hosts drag nights, weekly DJ sets and the occasional midweek special, which you can keep updated on via their socials. The platform also hosts various events throughout the Fringe Festival, so it is perfect for a late-night summer boogie.
Founded in 1994, CC Blooms sits just next to the Edinburgh Playhouse and hosts a variety of drag nights, pub quizzes, and comedy events throughout the year, and is often the chosen venue of RuPaul’s Drag Race Stars when they visit the city. Its fun and inclusive nature make this no surprise, however, and is a welcoming environment for all.
Subway’s weekly drag night, “Tracks Monday,” makes it THE place to be on a Monday night, with the venue recently selling out its tickets for the Tracks ball last week. Can’t make it on a Monday? No worries, the venue is open Monday-Saturday until 3am.
Pride Society is the University of Edinburgh’s LGBTQ+ society and offers a space for queer events throughout the academic year. Last year, they hosted coffee mornings, Cabarets, Pub socials, movie nights, poster-making workshops and queer parties.
Founded this year by now-President Julia, the Gender Liberation Society is a new discussion-based society at the university that focuses on gender as a concept and social construct which needs to be dismantled for everyone’s benefit. The society was one of the leading advocates against the university’s screening of ”Adult Human Female” and led banner workshops for the protest.
Two individuals to look out for this year for all things queer and trans liberation as Ash Scholz, the university LGBTQ+ officer, and Robyn Woof, the university returning Trans and Non-Binary officer. Both representatives will work throughout the year to provide students with a voice for important issues.
The Edinburgh LGBTQ+ Law Society aims to provide a social platform for all allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community wishing to pursue a career in law. The group hosts events throughout the academic year, often working with other LGBTQ+ societies and initiatives at the uni, so definitely worth checking out if you’re interested.
Whilst this group mainly offers an inclusive space for staff and employees of the university, the network has been vital in hosting and coordinating student events throughout the year. They host movie screenings, protests and speaker events, coordinating an event with leading Trans Rights activist Katy Montgomerie in January. The group supports all gender and sexual identities and works for and with students throughout the year.