Well here we stand once again on the precipice of the beginning of another PRIDE month here in Perth and this coming Saturday marks a change in the way PRIDE –http://www.pridewa.com.au/ has done the parade since the very early days when it began as a protest march with a daytime gathering and march into Northbridge. Moving the parade from a Saturday night time one to one that is held in the middle of the day brings PRIDE in line with most other countries around the world who still have PRIDE parades and it will be really interesting to see how the GLBTI community embraces such a change but also who comes out during the day to watch it.
Having been involved in one way or another with the construction of a variety of floats for nearly all of the PRIDE parades to date I am once again looking forward to putting our entry together on Saturday morning and then being part of the parade through the streets of Northbridge and it is my hope that moving from a night to a day parade will bring more people onto the streets to watch as the parade passes by as numbers have been slipping in the past few years.
I think one of the biggest issues here in Perth is the lack of money that many of the GLBTI groups have to put floats or even costumes for a walking group together and it is really great to see that PRIDE has secured funding this year to help some of the groups to get their entries together with the help on an artist in residence. Hopefully this will add some much needed colour and movement to the parade.
Whilst in the past we have been able to focus on smoke machines, lights and lasers it will be really interesting to see the transition to a day parade and some of the challenges that brings for floats, walkers, marching groups and especially drag queens who can look rather scary in the daylight hours, after all drag is more of a night time, performing on stage with lots of heavy make up activity and the natural sun light is not as forgiving.
I have always been a strong supporter of PRIDE, in fact I was very honoured to have been the PRIDE patron a few years ago, and am still today and I hope that the significant changes that PRIDE has put in place this year will reinvigorate the community to come out and support the various events from the parade on Saturday through to all of the other activities that are planned. I am also really pleased to see the traditional Fair Day move out of the PRIDE month to a stand alone community event in February as this really brings it back to what it was originally started as, an event to support and promote the various community based organisations and businesses in a family friendly picnic type day – and as so many of us these days have children and even grandchildren an event that supports family and our different types of families whilst also giving voice to the various community groups is a great one!
So as I ride through Northbridge on the back of the WAAC PRIDE float once again this year will I see you as the parade passes by?