Comedian Shawn Hitchins’ ginger pride march paints Edinburgh red


MORE than a hundred redheads took to the streets as part of Scotland’s first Ginger Pride Walk.

Celebrating their flame-coloured hair and rallying against “gingerism,” the marchers made their way through central Edinburgh on Saturday.

The march was the brain child of Canadian comedian Shawn Hitchins, who said he was surprised at the large turnout and hopes to turn it into an annual event.


The marchers first gathered at the east end of Edinburgh’s Princes Street, chanting “it gets redder” and holding placards  saying “all hail the red, orange and pale.”

The march made its way along the Royal Mile, which was packed with Edinburgh festival performers.

Non-ginger supporters donned orange wigs for the walk, while organisers handed out Ginger Nut biscuits.

Mr Hitchins, from Toronto, is in Edinburgh for his stand-up show at
the festival, Ginger Nation.

Speaking after the march, he said: “This was incredible. I’m Canadian
and gingers are few and far between over there.

“To be surrounded by other gingers is great.

“I hope we get to do this next year.”

He joked: “I was not expecting it to be so big. I thought I would have
to hire gingers.”

He said he had been invited to Flybe’s record-breaking attempt for “most gingers on a plane” later this month.

The comedian said: “I’m wishing them all the best. I just have to get over my fear of flying!”

The flight on 30 August will travel from Amsterdam to Inverness, bound for a Dutch red hair festival.

In a speech over a megaphone to the marchers, Mr Hitchins raised the example of the 11-year-old boy who was taken out of school by his mother because he was being bullied about his red hair as an example of anti-ginger prejudice.

Sonny Carver, who went to Cobholm Primary in Greater Yarmouth, was said to have been subjected to two years of taunts about his hair.

Organisers said around 150 people turned out for the march, which was given official permission by the city council.

Marchers said the walk was a fun way of standing up for their hair colour.

Teacher Judith McLeod, who came all the way from Inverness for the walk, said gingers were part of Scotland’s identity: “Gingerness is something to celebrate, it’s brilliant.

“It’s part of our national identity and I think other countries are jealous. I hope this becomes an annual thing.”

Becky Morgan, 28, from Suffolk, said Edinburgh during the festival was the perfect venue for a ginger pride walk: “It’s fantastic to have something new and fun and exciting like this.

“It’s such a nice feeling at the Fringe anyway.”

John Hawell,34, joked he moved to Scotland from his native Essex to escape anti-ginger bullying.

He said: “There’s a reason I moved to Scotland – the climate, the people, the acceptance.

“There can be a lot of bullying, you would get three gingers in a row at school and people would shout ‘jackpot!'”

MP Danny Alexander was not present at the march but has spoken in support of it, saying: “It’s great to see ginger people gather to help raise awareness of bullying in a way that is fun and not too serious.”