Interest in the symbol is already rising, with a number of businesses reaching out.
Leading LGBTI+ organisations in Scotland have come together to launch a new initiative promoting safe, inclusive spaces across Scotland.
Last week the new Scottish LGBTI+ Rainbow Mark launched to support inclusive social spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI+).
The mark was developed with LGBTI+ people and aims to increase positive LGBTI+ visibility, provide information and tools to enable better LGBTI+ inclusion, and reduce isolation and minority stress for LGBTI+ people.
The mark is a visible symbol which can be displayed to show a social space is welcoming to LGBTI+ people.
Scott Cuthbertson, Equality Network development manager, said: “Social spaces are important for all communities, and with LGBTI+ specific spaces centred in our larger cities, it's important too that LGBTI+ people across Scotland can have access to inclusive spaces.
“Knowing spaces are inclusive can make a real difference to people who may be isolated or who are just looking for somewhere they don’t have to pretend to be someone else.
“We are delighted to have worked with partners to launch the Scottish LGBTI+ Rainbow Mark to support more LGBTI+ inclusive spaces across Scotland.
“We’ve already had a great deal of interest in the mark from business owners, cinemas, and leisure spaces across Scotland.”
The Scottish LGBTI+ Rainbow Mark has been developed in consultation with LGBTI+ communities and demonstrates a commitment to principles of LGBTI+ inclusion.
Equality Network research, and close work with LGBTI+ people, shows that a lack of visibility, positive role models, and representation of LGBTI+ people has a significant negative effect.
On the other hand, greater LGBTI+ visibility can have a significant positive effect, both on social attitudes and for LGBTI+ people themselves.
The initiative was supported by funding from the Scottish Government.
Jessica Taylor, chair of Highland Pride, said: “Social and geographical isolation is a prevalent issue for our community in the Highlands– currently there are no dedicated LGBTI+ social spaces in a geographical area of nearly 10,000 square miles, and this highlights the need to promote and support inclusive spaces so that people living here, or visiting, know they are welcome in their local café, library, or shop.
“Joining up with partner organisations to launch the initiative has brought together a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise and we’re very proud to be part of it.
“We also know that many local organisations and businesses have been supportive of our work, and this gives us the opportunity to give something back to them whilst also benefiting LGBTI+ people across Scotland and beyond.”