The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, will tonight [23 February 2017] host leading figures in Scotlands LGBT community at an event to celebrate diversity and tackle prejudice.
The event is being held to mark LGBT history month in Scotland, and comes the day before Purple Friday, a day for people across Scotland to show their support for the LGBT community and stand together for equality.
The Scottish Secretary will be joined by representatives from the TIE Campaign, LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland, MSPs and businesses like Barclays, Blackrock, GenAnalytics and Edrington.
The event will also feature a performance by the Edinburgh Gay Mens Chorus and a speech from Commander Douggie Ward MBE, who will talk about his experience of being out in the Royal Navy.
Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Mundell said:
Tonights event is not only a celebration of Scotlands rich diversity and compassion, but proves that we stand shoulder to shoulder against ignorance, prejudice and bullying.
Young people in Scotland deserve a society where their gender and sexuality has no limitation on their experiences or their aspirations. I am determined to ensure everyone in the Scottish LGBT community is treated with the respect and equality they deserve.
This month we celebrate the history of the LGBT movement, but also its future, building a Scotland which is tolerant, inclusive and diverse.
Commander Douggie Ward MBE Royal Navy said:
From the moment that I came out as a gay man to my family, friends and colleagues in the Royal Navy, I have received nothing but whole-hearted support.It is this support that has enabled me to develop and grow both personally and professionally as a Naval Officer.
Events like tonights reception help send out a powerful message that we are all part of a wonderfully diverse society and no matter what your sexual orientation or gender identity, you are not alone and you can succeed.