It’s been two years since an official Pride parade wound its way down Ponsonby Road ion Auckland New Zealand. Well in 2020 a smaller Parade has returned to the city.
When the Auckland Pride Parade was cancelled in 2019 Auckland Pride replaced it with The Our March. In mid February 2020 they held a second one on Auckland’s main thoroughfare – Queen Street.
On the 29th February, an alternative to the Our March was held on Ponsonby Road – The Rainbow Pride march was organised by Rainbow Pride Auckland.
It has been estimated that about 800 people entered the parade and represented 32 organisations.
The parade was headed by kiwi lesbian icons The Topp Twins and transgender political pioneer Georgina Beyer.Also marching was the woman responsible for Marriage Equality in New Zealand – MP Louisa Wall.
There were queer owned businesses represented as well as political parties such as the National Party, Labour Party and ACT.
The were one or two corporate entries including an insurance company
and a supermarket chain – the shopping trollies were not full – but that maybe because Auckland was in the grip of panic buying due to our first confirmed case of Corona Virus.
Of special interests was a small contingent of Police in uniform. You may remember it was the planned participation of the Police in the 2019 parade that ultimately lead to the cancellation of that event and the subsequent arguments within the Auckland queer community.
When compared to the old Pride Parades, there were less participants, but they brought colour, music and fun to the street.
They also brought a sizeable crowd – estimates were about 10,000 people. Now that is one tenth one tenth of those who attended the 2018 Pride Parade , but it is significant number for an event that is trying to resurrect itself.
Once the parade had passed, the street party continued till late in the eventing.