Out and Loud in Pride March: Celebrating LGBT+
Feature by Jyqa Patano
The Midsumma Festival is well and truly underway, and what better way to mark the iconic summer month than with the annual Pride March?
Organised by the amazing people behind the Midsumma Festival, the Pride March sees people of all orientations and backgrounds fluffing up their boas and painting the town every colour and shade of the rainbow. All across the world, pride month occurs every June to commemorate the Stonewall riots. In Australia, we are lucky enough to celebrate both pride month and the Midsumma Festival: our own summer spin on the yearly event that celebrates our LGBT+ community.
What is there to celebrate, anyway?
We all aim for both understanding and inclusivity. This year, let’s celebrate what we have achieved towards that goal throughout the past year.
Despite some grim events globally, we are still making headway in some areas. In India, the Supreme Court decriminalised Section 377 in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), an act established during the British rule of India that criminalised same-sex relations – now, consenting adults can have sex with whomever they want in private. Taiwan’s Supreme Court ruled that the country’s traditional definition of marriage, “between a man and a woman”, is unconstitutional, forcing the government to revise the law to legalise same-sex marriage. In Botswana, a transgender man won a legal battle that allowed him to hold official documents that reflect his gender identity.
In entertainment, there has been more representation than before. RuPaul’s Drag Race included their first transitioning, transgender contestant, Gia Gunn, during the latest All-Star season. According to GLAAD’s annual Where We Are on TV report, LGBT+ people of colour outnumber the white LGBT+ people on broadcast TV. GLAAD also found 26 trans characters across all platforms, and there is a record high of 8.8% LGBT+ characters cast as regulars on scripted broadcast TV.
The Who, Where and When
The Pride March is on this Sunday at 11 am and is a family-friendly event so that everyone can attend. It begins in Fitzroy St., St. Kilda, and the general public can join at the final leg of the March into Catani Gardens. Everyone is invited to join the post-Pride celebrations in the Gardens as well. Disclaimer: although this is a family-friendly event, there are going to be references to sex – how can you celebrate sexuality without shrugging off the stigma of who you can and can’t love? – so you might see the odd bare bottom here and there. Parental or guardian discretion is very much advised.
Look at ha!
Ultimately, Pride is a way for people – both within the community and outside of it – to celebrate who they are and who they love. The March praises that pride people have with their identities and their sexualities.
Join the party and subscribe to the Midsumma Pride March website or Facebook page for more info. The marching order lists 208 various organisations, corporations and groups showing their support for the community. As always, Dykes on Bikes will be in attendance. There are emergency services present just in case things get too hot, and Victoria Police to keep festival-goers safe.