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GAY men from around the world have staged a three-day Highland fling in Inverness.

Kitted out in natty Highland dress, the men set up camp in an Inverness hotel, much loved by the Gaels, took in the sights of the Highland capital and danced the nights away.

One startled Highlander, who looked into the function suite at the Cummings Hotel, said: "They were dancing together and there was not a woman in sight.

"There were more kisses and hugs than the Oscars and BAFTA awards put together. I've never seen anything like it in my life."

The event, organised by Ian Stirling, from Nairn, who works at the Citizens' Advice Bureau, attracted gay men from Europe, the south of England and Edinburgh as well as the Highlands.

During the day they wore kilts and sweaters and at night dressed in full Highland regalia.

Mr Stirling, who is in his 50s and is a former bursar at a public school in Northwest England, said: "I don't think we could compete with the Oscars. We are just a group of gay friends who love wearing the kilt and country dancing.

"We went to the Cummings because the hotel we were to be staying at was double booked.

"We danced eightsome reels, dashing white sergeants and, yes, some gay gordons. It is an easy dance to do.

"I have been wearing the kilt for years. I would say one in 10 Scotsmen who wear it are gay."

A spokesman for the hotel said: "There were about 20 in the group who called themselves `Kilts in the Highlands'.

"They kept themselves to themselves and said they enjoyed their stay."
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Author:Lawson, Jim
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 16, 2000
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