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Perth unites to celebrate Pride

Donna+Kebab+A.K.A+Danny+Rogers++Photographer%3A+Claire+Alexander+
Donna Kebab A.K.A Danny Rogers  Photographer: Claire Alexander

Donna Kebab A.K.A Danny Rogers Photographer: Claire Alexander

Donna Kebab A.K.A Danny Rogers Photographer: Claire Alexander

Holly Ferguson, ECU Daily Reporter

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Rainbows, crazy costumes, music, fun and a whole lot of glitter. On November 25, over 20,000 people are expected to flood the CBD for the 2017 Perth Pride Parade, which is part of Perth’s PrideFest.

Growing out of a protest movement in 1989 challenging discriminatory laws against LGBT+ people, PrideFest is an annual event held in Perth for all members of the queer community and its allies.

In its 28th year of operation, the celebration will hold a heightened focus this year due to the same sex marriage plebiscite.

President of Pride WA Andrew Barker believes the answer to the plebiscite will be a YES as the YES campaign is currently over two million votes ahead.

He said that the YES announcement, which will occur on the same day of the parade, will likely prompt more people to attend.

“I do imagine that in the parade there will be more excitement and people will be feeling a bit more positive about the community at the potential of finally achieving marriage equality.”

Mr Barker sees the increased attendance as a good thing for the community; “The whole point about the parade is to be visible and promote the arts, culture and creativity of the LGBT+ community in WA. So, the more people who come and view the parade, the better outcome as far as our mission goes.”

Throughout the duration of the plebiscite the Australian community, at large, has witnessed strong arguments from both the YES and NO campaigns. In some instances, arguments have developed into dangerous realms with physical force being involved.

Despite this Mr Barker does not believe there will be any hate or counter protesting affecting the parade: “We haven’t experienced that in the past,” he said.

“I pity anybody who tries to start something like that (homophobic actions or speech) because on a night like that where we have such a big gathering of our community and supporters of our community I believe that anybody who tries to raise their voice in opposition will be shouted down a thousand times stronger. I would never advocate violence and I hope we don’t see any of that at all.”

However, if there was any threat to the parade, the high level of police presence both in the parade, marching, and out, will be able to diffuse any conflict: “The WA police force are out in strength. We have a group of uniformed police marching in the parade along with the WA police pipe band. So, there’s a heavy presence of police.”

Over 1,500 people are expected to walk in the parade from all facets of the community, including politics with members of Labor and the Greens walking.

Riding on The Court’s float (one of Perth’s LGBT+ venues) will be the fabulous Drag Queen, Donna Kebab (A.K.A Danny Rogers).

This is Miss Kebab’s third year on the float. “What I love most about the parade and being on the float is seeing everyone just so happy. It’s awesome, we’re so unified, the parade is a huge attraction that brings everyone together and I bounce off that energy,” she said.

Miss Kebab views Pride as an opportunity to promote equality for the LGBT+ community. “We show everyone that we’re part of the community and that we need to be equal. It’s important to make sure that we’re visible and heard and valid. This is relevant to the entire world, not just the Perth community.”

On the event of a YES vote, Miss Kebab believes that Pride will serve as an opportunity to demonstrate how much marriage equality means and is needed for the community.

“If we get a YES vote we have to say, yes, we’ve got the Australian public behind us now we have to make sure we’ve got the government behind us; and show that this isn’t a just a fad that this is equality and it’s something Australia needs.”

Each year PrideFest grows in support not only from the public but from business too. This year Perth mircro-brewery Nowhereman Brewing has collaborated with Pride WA to produce a beer in support for marriage equality.

The beer is said to have “a colour all of its own” with quintessential Australian flavours such as native fruit and spices.

This year a new route will be taken by the 1500 marchers. The parade will begin on Beaufort street, outside The Court, walk through Francis Street onto Lake Street then James Street ending on the Horse Shoe bridge in Yagan Square.

At the end of the parade there will be prizes awarded for several categories including; Best Group/Float, Best Group in relation to the theme of freedom and Best New Group.

PrideFest runs from October 27 through to November 25. For more information click here.

 

 

 

 

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Quality journalism by ECU students
Perth unites to celebrate Pride