THIS TIME last year, Glasgow was awash with rainbow colours as people thousands to the streets to celebrate Pride.

June is Pride month, as it was the month of the Stonewall riots that changed gay rights globally. Members of the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual) community, and allies of that community, come together to celebrate the achievements of gay rights.

Pride month is about teaching tolerance, education in pride history and continuing to move forward in equality - in that way, it's also about protest.

This year, almost all physical Pride events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and many have moved to virtual form.

In place of usual event coverage, The Glasgow Times spoke to members of the LGBT+ community in Glasgow to find out what Pride, and Pride in lockdown, meant to them.

Daniel Glendinning, a 26 year-old PR executive, travels every year to a different city to celebrate Pride.

Glasgow Times:

Daniel, from the South Side, identifies as gay. He said: "Pride month has always been very important to me. It’s something that I hold very closely in my heart.

"Last year I was in New York for the 50th anniversary of Stonewall where Pride started. I think what people are going through in lockdown.

"I think the LGBT+ community, unlike other members of society, are no strangers to oppression.

"By their very nature they are tougher, and can handle more. I think they have had to come together and re-evaluate. I’ve always considered Pride to be more than a party, but I think with this actually happening the wider community are thinking about what Pride actually means.

"It’s more than just a party, it’s a time to reflect. People are being told to stop and listen and research and do homework.

"It’s all well and good going in a rainbow costume but if you don’t know the story behind doing it then what’s the point?"

Annie Wells is a conservative MSP for Springburn, and is a lesbian.

Glasgow Times:

She said: "Pride for me has changed slightly. Being a conservative MSP in the city and Pride... people think the two cannot work together. Some people think as a Tory MSP, you shouldn't be celebrating it.

"Pride for me is just the recognition that we are not any different.

"Because of the job I do and the political party I represent, it's as if people are looking at me thinking that I shouldn't be there. People criticise me for being a Tory from Springburn but also a lesbian in a party that made Section 28. My answer is that we've moved and from there and evolved.

"I don't hide my sexuality."

Ru Jazzle, one of Scotland's most popular drag queens, is used to leading Pride and the lack of events has meant a loss of income.

Glasgow Times:

Ru, who is Queer and lives in Merchant City, said: "Usually, in the summer, I would be working at various Pride among the UK.

"Queens and performers are the leaders, at the forefront of Pride marches and events. Ever since the first Pride March, after Stonewall, Drag Queens have always been an integral part of pride marches, events and shows.

"It is strange not having anything physical. Drag Queens in general are resilient and always find ways of working things work."

"We've mostly gone virtual. It's providing us with money to keep us going. We were full-time artists and performers and relied on the income from venues, shows and bars and it was entirely cut off.

Glasgow Times:

"Lots of people have emailed and messaged saying it's given them something to look forward to and keep distracted and bring lightness and joy to the week.We are still connected, just more in a remote level."

With connectivity being a fundamental element of any Pride celebration, the lack of visible and physical events are felt as a loss of opportunity to lobby for continuing betterment of LGBT+ rights.

C-Jay Quigley is a 25-year-old transgender woman living in Govan. C-Jay is a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for LGBT Youth Scotland and identifies as a lesbian.

She said: "Pride month, to me, is a celebration of what we have achieved as a community so far, like marriage equality.

"It's also a protest. I was looking forward this year to protesting the change to the "bathroom bill", and the reforms on the Gender Recognition Act that make it harder for trans people to use what bathroom they wish.

"I wanted to fight to make sure young people were heard. It's harder now.

Glasgow Times:

"Before lockdown, the fights were going somewhere. The government were willing to listen to trans people, have dialogues, to make sure everyone's rights were respected.

"Since lockdown, everything has been placed on hold and I'm a bit worried by the time we come out of lockdown and it's time to have the conversations again, it'll be too close to the elections.

"We will need to hope the next elected representatives will be as willing to listen to trans people as much as the current one."

There is a burgeoning crisis at present: recent research by Stonewall revealed that 1 in 4 (27 per cent) trans young people have attempted to commit suicide and seventy-two per cent have self-harmed at least once.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and LGBT+ activist, compares the fight for trans-rights to the repeal of Section 28, which was brought in by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1988 and banned the “promotion of homosexuality” in UK schools.

It also barred local authorities from promoting “the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. It was repealed in Scotland in 2000.

Patrick, a community youth worker at that time, worked to repeal Section 28 in 1999 and remembers the 'fracturing' nature of the arguments.

Glasgow Times:

He said: "I don't think any of us could have imagined how the experience was going to be.

"We had a parliamentary and media campaign to fight and the Christian institute funded a court case against Glasgow City Council, so we had a judicial review to fight... and a funding crisis.

"I was walking to work every day past billboards saying 'protect our children', which meant from people like me.

"It was very intense... a shaping experience. But we came out of it and we beat the b******s and it was quite an empowering, optimistic moment.

"It really tears my heart to see the same tropes associating people with abuse or paedophilia or... just the most appalling hostile language now being used against trans people and their equality.

"It does remind me what we can see around the world: you can make progress, it doesn't mean its guaranteed, and you still have to keep working to try and maintain that momentum toward a fairer and more equal society.

"At the moment, we are not doing that in Scotland.

Patrick stresses not having big Pride events may lead to some people being isolated. On the other hand, it is a time to reflect on how Pride is being celebrated.

He continues: "There is a need to maintain the strength and integrity of the equalities movement and not allow it to be fragmented. When the movement is united and together it is strong.

"A lot of people for whom coming out was not personal but changed their relationship with home, where they lived, having the same relationship with family before... the effect of being stuck at home, and not being in a social circle... is really profound.

"There is also a loss of any voluntary sector community space in Glasgow.

"People are now starting to see hopefulness about how we are going to break out of this. The loss of the big events is a shame but that's not what all our lives are about.

"Maybe we should think differently about how we think about pride next year. Maybe we should do smaller and more frequent events. It's about taking our whole community and putting it into a public visible space. We can be more creative about how we do that."