Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Redheads stage Ginger Pride march at Edinburgh Fringe

Marchers on Ginger Pride Walk
Hitchins led scores of marchers through the streets of the Scottish capital

People with red hair have shown their true colours in a march through Edinburgh.

It had been billed as the UK's first Ginger Pride Walk and was part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Marchers gathered outside the Balmoral Hotel from 11:00, with the event being led by Canadian comedian and proud redhead, Shawn Hitchins.

He said it was a fun way to stand up against prejudice and those who poke fun at people with ginger hair.

Scotland is thought to have 650,000 redheads - about one in eight of the population - according to the Scotland's DNA project.

Speaking ahead of the march, Hitchins said: "Even although it isn't a real word, gingerism exists and bullying exists and you can't deny that kids are being subjected to taunts or being bullied in schools just for having red hair.

"In Canada there's not a lot of redheads, and for me as a really ridiculously gay kid, having red hair only heightened my sense of isolation because nobody looked like me, nobody lisped like me or burnt under the sun like I did."

The comedian said he was not sure how many people were likely to take part in the march, adding: "I hope its not just me - and I hope it doesn't look like the battle scene in Braveheart."

The event has generated a considerable amount of online interest, with Hitchins admitting he had been surprised at the number of ginger websites, blogs and activists.

He added: "They've all been in touch with me. It's almost like I've opened a door and realised there was an actual party on the other side.

"One day this week I was approached by a priest who came over, grabbed my shoulder said 'I love what you're doing with your affirmation march' and gave me two thumbs up."

Slogans prepared for the parade were said to include "Ginger and proud", "For the love of ginger", and "All hail! The red, orange and pale."

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