Elderly woman and man laughing together, wearing rainbow coloured accessories

East Ayrshire flies the flag at Scotland’s first pride event for older people


During National Pride month, Kilmarnock hosted Silver Pride, the first event of its kind in Scotland celebrating older members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The event took place on 27 June at the Park Hotel and was attended by 180 community members, of whom approximately 100 were older adults from across the community, including care homes.

The National Lottery funded event brought together guest speakers, information stalls, artwork, balloons and entertainment, transforming the day into a cultural celebration and informative occasion.

As older people are now feeling more confident in sharing their identities, we are beginning to see a rise in residents who do not identify as heterosexual coming into the care sector looking for support.

Arlene Bunton, East Ayrshire’s Independent Sector Lead at Scottish Care, explained why establishing such an event is important:

“We are finding that more people who have benefited from the more accepting and inclusive attitudes we now have are entering their older years. Our Silver Pride event has been the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the needs of those identifying as LGBTQ+ who access services, and particularly those with dementia who identify as LGBTQ+.

“In addition to today’s event, our funding will provide training across the independent sector as well as to social work and social care staff to help them support individuals and their families, and to help them manage the reactions of other care home residents. We want all older adults to live as their authentic selves.”

The lasting message from the event and training will be ‘You are Safe with Us’, emblazoned on a pin badge presented to staff who attend to demonstrate their support of inclusivity.