Monday, February 10, 2014

Big Gay Out succeeds again

The New Zealand Herald video above shows some of the spirit at the Big Gay Out, held in Auckland yesterday. I think it’s a really well done video.

In the video, they talk to a wide assortment of people attending, including two that I took particular notice of: An Australian lesbian woman (at about :52) and a gay man from Burundi (at about 2:21), both of whom talk about how LGBT people in New Zealand have more rights—and are more free—than is the case in many other countries (and, to be honest, most US states…).

The Big Gay Out is the biggest LGBT pride event in New Zealand and, as one of the people said in the video, it’s becoming a sort of “pre-event” for Sydney’s famous Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. But it also has a distinctly New Zealand and South Pacific vibe, which I quite like.

Politicians attended, of course, including both Prime Minister John Key and Leader of the Opposition David Cunliffe, as well as Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman and also a gaggle of MPs from various parties. Auckland Mayor Len Brown was also there.

I wasn’t there this year, however; I had to work and couldn’t go. We went last year, though.

The Big Gay Out is part of the Auckland Pride Festival, this year February 6-23. Among the many sponsors of the event is the Embassy of the United States of America. I love that. In particular, the Embassy is listed as the sponsor of “NXT:14 Youth Leaders Conference”, which was held February 7-9. This event, the website says, “was enabled by funding supported by outgoing US Ambassador David Huebner, a strong advocate for both youth and the Rainbow Community.” I suspect that he’s the main reason for the funding, and the listing.

However, US Embassies around the world have sponsored LGBT Pride events in the countries they’re based in, so this isn’t unusual, however it came to be. A particularly sweet side benefit is that this sponsorship makes wingnuts’ heads explode every time; that just adds to the entertainment value.

So, it was a good and very successful day. Again.

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