Victoria’s queer representative group UniQ has “raised the bar” for Pride Week, banishing the memories of what was described last year as a “fuck-up”. The week, aimed at celebrating and raising awareness of queer issues, saw nine events across six days- -which notoriously critical queer bloggers Aaron and Andy described as “one of the best Pride Weeks organised by UniQ VIctoria in a number of years”.
“It’s a step up,” said VUWSA Queer Officer, Gen Fowler agreed “attendance has reflected this, and those participating have given us some really positive feedback, which is great.”
Coincidentally, a bill which would legalise same-sex marriage was drawn from the Members’ Bill ballot in Parliament last week. The Bill is likely to be subject to a conscience vote, and while the numbers of those in support are not clear, Prime Minister John Key has previously indicated that he would support the Bill through its first reading.
A UniQ representative said it was the “the best Pride Week present ever.”
Most of last week’s events were new additions, including; a quiz night, self- defence class, an open mic night, and comedy debate. The Traffic Light Party returned
as a UniQ classic where attendees were encouraged to “dress to impress in the colour of your availability.” Fowler described it as “a big gay rave.”
American Ambassador David Huebner, the third openly gay ambassador in US history mingled and chatted with students on Wednesday afternoon. He spoke positively about UniQ’s Pride Week, and policy in the Obama administration which directed US ambassadors worldwide to be involved in Pride events.
Huebner then gave a speech to the room. Diversity, he explained, is completely natural, and difference is important for the quality of our “human ecosystem”.
Addressing being “officially gay”, he emphasised the importance of public gay figures in creating widespread acceptance.
Huebner said his motto was “VAS—being visible, approachable and successful.”
“It’s hard to hate your cousin Vinnie, or your great Aunt Ethel, or your son.” He said visibility and approachability make it hard for people to hate, and that it’s important
to show that LBGT people can be at least equally successful as straight people.
“Become CEO of Fonterra” was his parting advice, as doing so would be more effective than “two dozen more gay rights activists”.
Fowler shared similar sentiments.
“While the whole festival is still on a pretty small scale, we really make an effort to
open up our campus community to wider Wellington, and we hope that [last] week’s efforts could be the start of something really positive for local queerdom.”
Ed.s. note: Another victory for Queerlient.