Let's Hear It For Ginger Pride

Photo: Linford/REX Shutterstock.
The Pride spirit has been the ringing from the rooftops in the U.S. lately thanks to the momentous SCOTUS ruling, and it seems like it's wafting over to our friends across the pond, too — but not in the way you might expect. While gay marriage has been legal over there for some time now (those Brits, always one step ahead of us), they're tackling a new group of underrepresented individuals: redheads, a.k.a. gingers.

Spearheaded by 43-year-old pizza delivery driver Stuart Parry, plans for a Ginger Pride Festival is in the works for summer 2016 in Plymouth, England. Gingers seem to frequently get the short end of the stick — being on the receiving end of a lot of (we'll just say it, odd) criticism and taunting. "Redheads stand out — we're different, but not so different as to warrant the kind of things, which (dare I say it) were we Black, the abuser would be arrested, and rightly so," Parry told us. "I'm not saying we're victims of racism, but the [emotional] effects can be similar when you're on the receiving end...redheads have been vilified for centuries, and I don't know what they did to deserve it."

But, bitter he is not — he stresses that this hair hue celebration is "not for political status or because we have a chip on our shoulder, but because it will be FUN!," as his Facebook page Gingers: The Gathering clearly outlines, which has 5,000 likes and counting. Parry initially set out planning the event as a way to deal with his clinical depression and quickly realized that having a goal was therapeutic, in a sense. "Now, thanks to some media interest, it has become a real thing that will actually happen. So, it's become very important to me as it will be an achievement, of which I can be rightly proud."

According to Cosmo UK, plans so far include a local celeb judging competition, science displays, and live music — with their proposed venue holding about 150-200 people. Thanks to — or, regretfully because of — the accidental virality of the festival, Parry notes that he might have to reconsider some minor things (and probably spring for a bigger venue), but he hopes to have it become a reality by summer 2016.

While Parry isn't the first in the U.K. to rally a band of redheads for celebration — Edinburgh, Scotland held a Ginger Pride Walk in the past and September the U.K. will celebrate it's third Redhead Day in Angel, London — he tells us: "To be just a small part of such a movement has been a humbling and beautiful experience." He hopes that his contribution will help boost the self-esteem for gingers both near and far. "I hope the event will encourage redheads not to be dismayed, to be proud of who they are, and to have fun meeting others with shared experience," he says. "I hope it will be entertaining and informative."

Parry's parting message to all the redhead haters out there? "Hate all you want. I really don't care. But know this... Karma's gonna bite you in the ass!" Hear, hear. Say it loud: I'm ginger and proud.
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