Kia ora, Talofa lava, Mālō e lelei, Kia orana, Fakalofa lahi atu, Bula Vinaka, Ia orana, Taloha ni, Halo, Kona mauri, and warm pacific greetings from Auckland Pride!
The Auckland Pride Festival is proud to endorse Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras’ bid for Sydney to be the host city of World Pride in 2023.
Auckland Pride has a proud history of fierce, fabulous, community-centred Pride Festivals in Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest, most diverse city – Auckland. Our Pride Festivals have showcased the incredible and diverse talents of our rainbow communities, celebrated our country’s progress through parties and Pride Parades, and advocated for often marginalised groups within our rainbow communities, through activist gatherings and Pride Marches.
The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to put on a world-class festival, drawing visitors from around the world, and in particular, from across the ditch in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The platform that Mardi Gras provides has been vital for the visibility and progress of Australia’s diverse rainbow communities, demonstrated most recently through the divisive fight for marriage equality under federal law. Its role to play in providing that platform not just for Australia’s rainbow communities, but for LGBTTQIA+ people across the South Pacific is vital.
One of the most significant challenges we face as a member of the South Pacific is advocating and empowering our Pasifika rainbow communities to liberate their home countries from colonial-era discriminatory laws against our communities. The ILGA 2019 State Sponsored Homophobia Report states that just under half of the countries in the Oceania region still criminalise consensual same-sex acts.
Sydney hosting World Pride in 2023 would thrust our communities in the South Pacific onto the world stage, enabling unprecedented visibility and advocacy.
A successful World Pride bid could attract up to a million visitors to Australia from around the globe. We know that because of the relative proximity of New Zealand to Australia, many of these visitors will travel to Auckland and around Aotearoa. Auckland Pride Festivals usually conclude on the same weekend the Mardi Gras Festival begins (as it did in 2019), providing a rare opportunity to significantly increase the audience of a 2023 Auckland Pride Festival proudly showcasing and celebrating our unique cultures, vibrant communities, and excellent talents.
Through signature events such as a Human Rights Conference, as occurred in New York for World Pride 2019 which saw prominent New Zealand human rights advocates in attendance, the eyes of global LGBTQIA+ communities would be on Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. This would provide an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate a united front to our respective governments, and propel progress on laws harming our communities.
The ILGA 2019 World Conference in Wellington demonstrated just how effective human rights conferences in the South Pacific are, with delegates from each Pacific Island nation in attendance. Sydney hosting World Pride in 2023 would build on the successes of that international conference, and continue to strengthen our global coalition on human rights for our rainbow communities.
World Pride 2019, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, enabled significant dialogue around the world on the further challenges our community face, and set diversity and inclusion as a standard for organisations internationally. Having the epicentre of a global movement for equality, which is gaining momentum by the day, right next to our small corner of the world will create opportunities to unify and strengthen our communities, showcase the power of diversity and inclusion, and send a strong message that will reverberate hope around the world.
The goals of World Pride, unifying people across the world through art, culture, and creativity, whilst also raising awareness of human rights challenges, fundamentally aligns with the strategic goals of the Auckland Pride Festival.
Our vision is a Pride that acknowledges the unique role of our indigenous Māori communities and their indigenous identity, takatāpui. Our vision is for a Pride that celebrates Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as a pacific city, evoking the energy and uniqueness of our queer communities through the environment, events and activism.
We strongly believe that Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras share that core commitment to our indigenous queer communities, and to creating a World Pride that celebrates the diversity of the Pacific, empowers our communities and showcases our talent to a global audience.
It is for those reasons, that we proudly and enthusiastically endorse the traditional land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, Sydney Australia, to be the host of the 2023 World Pride Celebrations.
The Auckland Pride Festival is a member of InterPride, an international organisation that ties Pride together globally. InterPride acts as a source of education and a stepping-stone to elevating community interaction for Pride events worldwide.
Subscribe for Auckland Pride announcements and Festival updates.