Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Pride

June in Brisbane is Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Pride Festival month. This year it's the 20th Festival; it began back in 1990 before we even got Law Reform through. The big event on the Pride calendar is Rally March and Fair Day. And that was today. It's always a huge day. It begins with a rally in the City, this year back in Emma Miller Place. The Rally is a time for speechifying and in the early years of Pride there was a lot happening as Brisbane's queer communities were addressing a range of crucial issues and at the same time emerging from the shadows after many years of vicious homophobic (amongst other things) and repressive government. The last few years, I must admit, I haven't paid much attention to speeches. I use that time instead to circulate and catch up with folks.

After the rally comes the March led by the wonderful Dykes on Bikes and then behind them a large Rainbow Flag and then a plethora of groups and a whole lot of folks not with any group at all. This year was a very big turnout. I was quite surprised by the numbers. And for me most striking was a contingent of very loud and very proud, young teenage queers calling for equalised age of consent laws. They were determined, they were organised, and they weren't gonna take shit. It does the heart good to see such energy and determination and boy were they loud. What a wonderful change from the days when I was their age. And their energy and confidence certainly augurs well for the future. The March makes its way to Musgrave Park South Brisbane, which is the venue for the Pride Fair. That's a huge event now and goes on through the rest of the day into the early hours of the night.

In the 90s so many Fair Days for me were very busy as I would be on one stall or another, mostly the UQ Campus group but also other groups I was involved with at the time. The last few years I've been unattached to any group so I've spent the day catching up with friends, having a few drinks etc. But this year was a bit like the old days. For the last few months I've been involved in the QAHC History Project. And we had a stall today operating out of the QAHC tent. So I was at the park at 8.30 this morning to help set up the stall, then off to the Rally, marching back and then doing stuff on the stall through the day until we packed up around 4.30pm.

So it's been a big day and not surprisingly I'm a bit tired tonight. But it was a great day and I caught up with a lot of people, including a dear friend from back in the first half of the nineties and who I haven't seen for almost 15 years. Back then we were part of the Queer Radio Collective and my friend was this fabulous baby dyke, very passionate, a full on campus activist at QUT and she and I made an interesting pair. We even had a breakfast slot together for a short while on Saturday mornings on 4ZZZ. And she had a heart as big as a planet. Fifteen years later, my friend still has a heart as big as a planet, is still very passionate and is now a passionate transman. He's been living overseas for most of those years away and is in town for the next couple of weeks so I'm looking forward to catching up with him a few times while he's here. He says he's looking forward to talking "man to man" with me. Goodness, I don't think ever I've done man to man stuff. Well, I've done plenty of man to man in my time but not "man to man".

And then when I get home and I get changed I find someone has left a sticker on the seat of my jeans. A little round pink sticker and on it the word 'Princess'. How did they know? How did they know?

Happy Pride to everyone!


  1. There's something truly magical about Brisbane pride! :-)

  2. It's Joseph *squeal* It's your first comment on my blog *squeals again*

  3. I'm glad you had a great day! I did too!