Today was the annual Melbourne Pride march but this year was a little bit special. This year we celebrated 20 years of Pride with what felt like one of the biggest parades yet. The weather was a little bit ominous but luckily it stayed warm and the rain held off as we marched through St Kilda resplendent in out speedos, kilts and all manner of outfits.
I really do love these events. A lot of people say it’s not really their scene and I get that. I go through my phases when these events don’t interest me. Maybe it’s because I’m back home and feeling a little sentimental, but this years parade was a lot more enjoyable than those of previous years. The crowd really seemed to be behind all of us and the atmosphere this year was warm and friendly.
I understand when people question the need and the relevance of events like these but when you see the diversity of the community that takes part you realise that at different times it means different things to different people. While the old guard may lament that the events are thinly veiled disguises for a party, you only need to look at the young people holding banners for equal marriage and anti-bullying to see just how much struggle there still is left to go, and just how much the new generation is willing to pick up the torch and carry on.
Events like this expose the far corners of our community to each other. Our little corner of the world so often has communities within it boundaries that never cross paths. It’s important that as GLBT people we see the diversity within our own culture and learn to respect each other.
Pride should be about Pride in each other as much it is about Pride in ourselves.