“As we dream lesbian, gay, trans – all of those other ones I am 57 I can’t remember them all…the identity we choose is to be yourself and be you and who you are – I stand proud to be with you…”
The opening lines of the welcome to #ourmarch.
What was the event?
Auckland Pride March 2019. Through the city centre of Auckland the LGBTQ+ community marched through with one goal – there voice to be heard. It started at 5pm and shut down the streets with an estimated 3000 in the March.
What happened at the event?
A movement. This year Auckland Pride was covered in a lot of political drama which was the talk of Auckland regarding decisions made by Auckland Pride board not allowing the Police to wear there uniform in the parade. The board wanted the police to be part but wearing civilian clothing. This caused major controversy with the pulling out of corporate sponsorship. The event almost didn’t go ahead for the first time in a long time of the movement occurring. But strong hearts and determination got through barriers of doubt and despair. However, instead of focusing on that for my blog I wanted to tell about the emotion I saw from this event. Emotion that was raw. Emotion that saw tears dropping from the faces of people who for 30 years were battling with society to “accept” them. Who is anyone to judge or tell someone they are not accepted for who they want to be.
But the event started off with the gathering of a community who were showing the world who they were. After the controversy that had plagued the event it was really happening. People stood with flags and stood singing songs. This year it was called a march rather than a parade. This year there was no floats with sponsors. It was raw passion and when it began I watched and listened to the things being sung, the banners, the placards and so on. This was no longer just an event – this was a gathering of voices who were there to have there voice heard.
As we walked through the city it was clear the voices were getting louder. The flags were flying faster and the passion was oozing out of this gathering. I was in awe as I was at the front leading the march through the streets.
Walking up to the park where the finish event was based everyone was now ready for the celebrating a successful event. But not just that a different event. Instead of having corporate sponsors the event went back to the first marches of the LGBT. This was not about rainbow flags. This was about the fact people having a voice! And a voice that matters.
I knew that I wanted to experience different prides when I was going around the world but what I didn’t know I would experience a pride that was going against the norms of 21st century brand consumption.
It didn’t need brands to have there voices heard it left all of the corporate and “inclusive KPI’s” for major companies at the door and said no – this is the voice for the LGBT and it will be smaller but it will happen.
Yes there was no politicians – but does a politician do something when it’s a movement or do they something when it’s constructed so they can be just seen walking at the front and saying “look at me” I’m inclusive.
One thing to take away…
Voices can be heard at events without the need for brand consumption. Sponsorship is a driving force behind how. If events can go – but when that was stripped back this year something happened. A choreographed beautiful March with voice, flare and beauty meandered and let there voice be heard.