Rainbow Kilts LGBT Festival to brighten up Hawick this weekend

SCOTTISH Borders LGBT Film and Performing Arts Festival returns for a second year this weekend.

Named Rainbow Kilts, the theme for 2012 is challenging homophobia, following up research commissioned last year which looked at what it was like to live in the Borders for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The festival, based at the Heart of Hawick, kicks off at 3pm tomorrow with the first of two Scottish premieres. Gen Silent is a documentary film by Stu Maddox which addresses the challenges that older LGBT people face within the care system. The screening will be followed by a question and answer panel with representatives from NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council, who are both supporting the event.

On Sunday, at 4pm, sees the second film, Jan’s Coming Out, which follow the story of Jan Walker, a 50-year-old woman who had been married for 23 years and had three children before watching American gay TV drama series The L Word.

Other events throughout the weekend include the launch of LGBT Youth’s Breaking Down The Borders impact report, and the group’s performance, alongside Borders Youth Theatre, of the play Don’t Judge Me.

Shields Performing Arts Academy and bands including SPAT will also provide entertainment, while a disco will be held in the Tower Inn in Hawick on Saturday.

Susan Hart, chair of the Scottish Borders LGBT Equality Forum and main organiser of the festival, said: “We were delighted by how well attended last year’s festival was.

“Feedback from the people who came along was great and when we spoke to the local traders they said that they had noticed a really positive atmosphere around the town over the weekend and that it had been good for business.

“Everyone was keen to support a repeat event, so here we are with the second of what we hope will become an annual festival.”

NHS Borders, SBC, Lothian and Borders police and fire services and LGBT Youth Borders will all have representatives who have staff at Heart of Hawick on Friday and Saturday.

For more information about the festival and the LGBT Equality Forum, visit www.scotsborderslgbt.co.uk