The rising tide of global conservatism – from Donald Trump in America to Brian Tamaki in Aotearoa – and the resulting uncertainty around LGBT+ and human rights, make next year’s Auckland Pride Festival and Parade more relevant and vital for the wellbeing of New Zealand’s Rainbow communities than ever.
“The political situation worldwide is of serious concern to all minority groups, whether ethnic, religious or based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” says Auckland Pride Board member Lexie Matheson, ONZM.
Running from Friday 10 to Sunday 26 February, the 2017 Auckland Pride Festival will celebrate Auckland’s cultural and sexual diversity, as well as offering a safe space for progressive voices to be heard, and bringing focus to the important issues that face New Zealand’s Rainbow communities (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Takatāpui, Fa’afafine, Intersex, Queer) in 2017 and beyond.
The theme for the 2017 Auckland Pride Parade is Pride & Progress: The Carnival Continues! Ponsonby Road will be packed full of love, light and colour on Saturday 25 February when Aotearoa’s largest and loudest carnival of change and diversity processes up Auckland’s hippest strip at the later time of 7.30pm!
In the thirty years since Homosexual Law Reform, New Zealand’s Rainbow communities have accomplished many things, legally, socially and culturally. But all gains are fragile – and very real issues remain.
“The pushback against reasoned civility and the concept of social equality is primitive, frightening, immediate and very, very real,” says Matheson. “Until recently, established social parameters have kept us relatively safe from the rhetoric of hate – a language which opens the floodgates to violence and oppression, both social and political.”
Homophobia continues to exist. Young people are still not safe. LGBT+ people don’t enjoy the benefits of health equity. HIV/AIDS has still not been beaten. Women do not have pay equity. Gender identity isn’t included in the Human Rights Act and reassignment surgeries are woefully underfunded. Neighbouring countries still choose to deny LGBT+ rights.
The momentum of change must continue! The 2017 Auckland Pride Parade will celebrate the brilliant achievements of the Rainbow communities – but also turn the spotlight on issues that still obstruct full equality.
The 2017 Auckland Pride Festival will feature over 50 individual events all across Auckland – from Ponsonby to Manukau and Henderson to Waiheke Island – including local and international theatre and cabaret, art exhibitions, live music, film and digital media, literature, debates and discussions, drag and burlesque, sports and recreation, gardening, pets, pageants and parties!
To register an event or activity within the 2017 Auckland Pride Festival, please contact the Festival Director Julian Cook: [email protected]
To enter a float or march in the 2017 Auckland Pride Parade, please contact Parade Producers Jonathan Smith and Shaughan Woodcock: [email protected]
Auckland Pride Gala
Friday 10 February, 8pm
Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street
Big Gay Out
Sunday 12 February from midday
Coyle Park, Pt. Chevalier
Bear New Zealand Week
Sunday 12 – Sunday 19 February
Same Same But Different Writer’s Festival
Friday 17 – Saturday 18 February
Heroic Garden Festival
Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 February
Auckland Pride Parade
Saturday 25 February, 7:30pm
Auckland Pride Festival 2017 runs from Friday 10 February – Sunday 26 February
Full festival line-up available online from mid-December
Festival programme out on the streets from mid-January
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AucklandPride #AKLpride
For more information, images and interviews contact:
Bex Martelletti at Elephant Publicity
09 368 4180 or 027 528 6839 | [email protected]icity.co.nz
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