Indigenous LGBTI leaders led this year’s Brisbane Pride Festival march, kicked off as always by the Dykes on Bikes. The event saw Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley filled with rainbows on Saturday. Marchers focussed on the issue of the current same-sex marriage postal survey.
Before the event, some 10,000 LGBTI community members and supporters heard from Brisbane Pride organisers, local politicians and activists. Immediately afterwards, the roar of the Dykes on Bikes and the Brisbane Gay Riders kicked off the march at midday.
First up, LGBTI members of Queensland’s Indigenous community led the pride march. A symbolic flag exchange during the rally saw traditional elders exchange the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags with the LGBTI community’s rainbow flag as a gesture of mutual respect.
Later, Rebecca Johnson of the IndigiLez Women’s Leadership and Support Group said culture and community connections are important to all First Nations people.
“As a mark of respect we embrace the opportunity for a flag exchange between Brisbane Pride and First Nations community, to draw on and share the values of our commitments to the reconciliation journey throughout our communities,” she said.
Same-Sex Marriage Postal Survey
This year, the annual event also had a special significance amid the same-sex marriage postal survey campaign.
The Equality Campaign director Tiernan Brady urged everyone in the crowd to have respectful conversations about the issue to “make this year’s rally the last without marriage equality.”
“Whether we’re one of the thousands of supporters here, the thousands who are knocking on doors around Australia, or whether we’re one of the young gay and lesbian people in regional Australia talking to their mum and dad about who they are, we’re all in this together,” he said.
A group of six anti-gay religious protesters walked ahead of the parade. However, chants of “love is love” and “preach love, not hate” from the crowd drowned out their protest.
P R O U D ✨️There’s nothing better in life than to love and be loved ❤️ Thank you to my family & friends who are absolutely magical, supportive and inspiring! Today was so great thanks for coming to show your support and spread love with me @roc90 @danirc95 @emily_exploring @jono_davis8 @flickrunting @carlabirdy #BrisbanePride #Pride #LGBTQI #Gay #Lesbian #Proud
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