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With events that spanned almost two weeks, Wellington’s annual Pride Festival parade started at Frank Kitts Park and ended at Waitangi Park. The purpose of the parade was to make the public aware of the past, what can be done for the future, and to use it as a political statement.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986, which legalised sexual intercourse between males in New Zealand.
The festival opened with a welcome ceremony at parliament with prominent enactors of the reform at the event. One trans women discussed how her mother use to beat her to make conform to her biological sex. She forgave her mother because she understands that it was best for her to avoid the humiliation from others during a time when transsexuals were not accepted in society.
Mani Mitchell also spoke about what it was like to be an intersex* person growing up, and said there needs to be more education about intersex in order for people to be more accepting.
Alex Mark, UniQ President, said, “a highlight [of the celebration] was definitely seeing so many young people out supporting 30 years of law reform and celebrating our diversity. It was also great to see a wide range of groups out marching.”
VUWSA were also active in the parade and the general festivities. VUWSA President Jonathan Gee said of the event, “it was great to be part of an event that celebrates diversity and embraces inclusiveness. We marched proudly alongside UniQ at the Pride Parade. The parade was a testament for the city and society that we want to become.”
*Intersex is a general term for a person who has variations in sex characteristics and does not identify as predominantly as either male or female.