FRIEDA FORD & HIGHLAND PRIDE
This billboard was created by artist Frieda Ford in collaboration with Highland Pride. Frieda graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2020. She specialises in film, socially engaged work, and digital collage with an emphasis on green screening and manipulation of found footage and audio. Drawing on a tendency of myth making to appear as a piecing together of archaic ideas with the contemporary, she creates purposefully cliched, iconographic imagery combined with contemporary cultural signifiers of popular culture. She explores queer and feminist theory with an emphasis on accepted heteronormative and patriarchal narratives that dominate contemporary western society.
Frieda worked with Highland Pride - who preserve and protect the mental and physical health and social welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people in the Highlands. They also aim to promote fair and equal treatment for LGBTQ+ people by challenging the stigma and discrimination experienced by them at both community and personal level.
Photo: Paul Campbell
A series of poems by Tina
A billboard for LGBTQ+ in Inverness
Because they deserve nothing less.
Growing up gay here was never easy
In fact in clubs, it was darn right sleazy
But Highland Pride is paving the way
To make it easier to come out as gat
A billboard, zoom sessions and upcoming march
Should take away some Invernessian starch
No longer stuck with a pole up their arse
Gay pride in Inverness no longer a farce
We march with flags so we can be seen
To make it easier for out baby queens
So a billboard they've given us to help us along
We can do it through art and being strong
A billboard will give us a sense of place
We just want acceptance like the rest of the human race.
Asexuality is grey
Rainbow is gay
Trans is blue and pink
A lot of colours to make you think
We all need our own sense of place
We need to be supportive of each other
We need to be each other's sister and brother
Support your relatives support your friends
Be the life that never ends
Let legacies live on and on
Let the world know how bright you've shone
Be proud of the person you've become
Let go, live life, be proud and have fun.
Female icons brave and strong
Millions of fans can't be wrong
They became icons to many straight and gay
But they will always be ours in a special way
Listening and watching our ladies on screen
Brought something different to our scene
So never forget the strong women in your life
For they are our icons our saviours in our strife.
Pride in Inverness with the wee frees and Nessie
I kid you not it could have gotten messy
But good sense prevailed, and good times were had
Being gay in Inverness wasn't all that bad
But pride made me feel included
No abuse or ill feeling was extruded
We need to do more for our baby queers
As Inverness has been hidden for years and years
It's time to shout it out good and loud
It's about time Inverness became proud
Proud of how inclusive we really are
Proud of how progressive we are by far
So, let's take the Highlands to the next step
And build a proper LGBTQ+ family with a positive rep
Let's show the world how the Highlands have grown
A generation of young ones who can now be known.
Patches galore I can't see what they are
But they have been gathered with love from near and far
I don't know if they were bought earned or won
But I imagine collecting them was so much fun
A collection of mystery and intrigue
Puts this collection in a whole new league
Pretty to look at interesting as hell
Each one has a delicate story to tell
So, whatever your collection may be
Show it off with pride so people can see.
Stories of Scotland - Queer As Folktales podcast (three parts):
UnDividing Lines Magazine (past issues): An award winning digital magazine issued twice a year written for, and by, LGBTQ+ people of the Highlands. UnDividingLines editor Kevin Crowe had his first collection of short stories published last year by Fly On The Wall Press. Kevin has had his work published in many magazines, most recently in Northwords Now and The Haar. He has read his work in person (prior to Covid lockdown) at the Scottish Parliament, Glasgow's Aye Write Festival, Ullapool Book Festival and John O' Groats Book Festival and since the Covid lockdown online at John O' Groats Book Festival, Fly On The Wall Digital Book Festival and on his own Facebook page. He will shortly be the subject of a Podcast where an actor will read his story "Texan Condoms" and he will be interviewed by a radio presenter; the Podcast will be released as part of Book Week Scotland (15 - 21 November 2021) and World AIDS Day commemorations (1 December 2021).
Dougie Visual’s Highland Pride “In with the out crowd’: An exploration and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in the Scottish Highlands, click on each image to read more about the photography subjects.
'We're here': A live performance exploring the experiences of LGBTQ+ people living in the Highlands. Keira Smith, from Vivid Roots Collective, has worked in collaboration with the Highland Youth Arts Hub to create a theatre piece which looks at the different experiences of LGBTQ+ people across the Highlands.
Worth reading the comments too!