While spectator numbers were down somewhat on previous years, not even the forecast late weather change and storms could keep spectators away from 17th annual Pride March, one of the biggest in the event’s history.
Sunday started a hot and balmy 31 degrees as crowds gathered and marchers assembled for Victoria celebrated all the colours its queer community has in the iconic march down St Kilda’s Fitzroy street.
Thousands of spectators turned out to catch the fabulous atmosphere and a glimpse of the 115 queer groups that marched on the day. Among them were Pride favourites Victoria Police, Police Marching band, Midsumma, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, PFLAG, Victorian AIDS Council, VicBears, Vintage Men and of course Australia’s only full time licensed queer radio broadcaster JOY 94.9 who did a live outside broadcast from the event.
Check out all our pics from Pride March 2012 below.
February 5th, 2012
Pride March continued its beloved tradition of being led by the popular Dykes on Bikes and Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers. Shining brightly were the King and Queen of Pride, Kimberly Brookes and Destiny Forbidden.
Mayor of the City of Hobsons Bay Cr Tony Briffa made history as he led representatives from Melbourne’s Western Suburbs and fulfill his controversial pre-election promise to march in mayoral robes.
And newly appointed Victorian Chief Police Commissioner Ken Lay also proudly led Victoria police representatives in full uniform, continuing the much respected but controversial tradition initiated by former Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon – symbolically representing Victoria’s Police’s support of all of Melbourne’s community.
Check out this fantastic video as Dr George from The Healthy Bear took to streets at Pride March 2012 to ask marchers what makes them ‘Proud’?
However, just as the final groups completed their march arriving at Catani Gardens, a cool change swept into the bay area. The skies opened up for a couple of hours resulting in many punters running indoors or undercover, dampening the mood of the celebration at the gardens, which still went ahead with entertainment including drag shows and music.
Pride March Victoria president Brett Hayhoe addressed the crowd speaking about the relevance and place of the event in the content of Victoria, Australia and the world’s queer presence.
“I do not subscribe to the notion that the world would be a better place without ‘pride’ nor do I think that pride will ever no longer be necessary,” Hayhoe told the crowd.
“And I say this for the following reasons… although many prides originated in demonstrations, regardless of levels of equality across the world, they will always be about personal equality… the right to be who you are regardless of sexuality, freedom of expression, and possibly the most important, to inform the younger generation that it is ok to be who they are and that they are not alone.
”[Pride] is alse a timely reminder to those countries that continue to deny basic human rights to their constituients, that we are not going anywhere.”
The sun did eventually re-appear and the remaining revelers continued the festivities till 10pm before heading to Pride March parties continuing at various venues all over town.
Pride March was the final premiere event of the 2012 Midsumma festival, and closed what has by all accounts a successful year for Victoria’s biggest and longest running celebration of queer culture and pride.
Same Same was certainly busy this year bringing you record coverge of the fantastic festival. Check out some of our best 2012 Midsumma galleries below.
January 15th, 2012