The annual Auckland Pride Parade this year was full of all the things that make this event a festival to remember: love, joy, hope and celebration. It is always such a joy to be a part of this parade and to lend our presence to the universal language of love. This year, Ponsonby Road saw a spectacular turnout of more than 3,500 people, with a multitude of cheering crowds and decorative floats, each outdoing the other.
This year, Positive Women Inc teamed up with Body Positive and the Cartier Trust to create a remembrance float in honour of all those who have lost their lives to HIV. Decked out in red and gold with jeweled bits and bobs adorning every corner, our combined float really was a befitting tribute. Here we would like to thank Gayle Jonker, one of our members and a very talented lady, who made – by hand – all the bunting that was ceremoniously wrapped around the float, and for taking out the time to hand pick all the matching ornaments that were used. You are a star and we couldn’t have made it look so good without you. Also, a great big shout out to all the wonderful volunteers who spearheaded the march alongside our float. Your presence and high spirits really made our presence felt.
The theme of the Pride Parade this year was ‘Rainbow Warriors’. In keeping with this theme, many of us wore butterfly wings and ballet tutus. Whilst we marched alongside our remembrance float, the mood was upbeat and celebratory. We had loud music pumping and a whole lot of energy, a lot of that reflecting from the immense crowds that had gathered on the day to cheer us along. Everyone was out to play, see and be seen in the hopes of raising more awareness about the need to be free and equal. Considering the big disappointment caused by the cancellation of Big Gay Out just a week before, the Pride Parade this year was all about partying it up and having fun.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was there to cut the ribbon along with Positive Women Inc National Coordinator Jane Bruning, Cartier Trust’s Karen Ritchie and Body Positive’s Mark Fisher. It was so good to see the country’s glowing young leader out there to lend her support to the community.
Check out our gallery to see pictorial outtakes from Auckland Pride Parade 2018