Progress, pride, diversity
Glitter and stilettos were in abundance as the annual Auckland Pride Parade rolled through Ponsonby on Saturday night. Gay rugby players, police dogs wrapped in rainbow scarves, and more than 50 floats made their way down Ponsonby Rd from 7.30pm, starting near Tole St at the northern end and finishing just past Western Park. The parade, a celebration of the country’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, takatapui, fa’afafine, intersex and queer communities, is the penultimate event of this year’s Auckland Pride Festival.
It was followed by an after party at Studio in K Rd, which was expected to run until about 5am. The theme for the 2017 event was ’Pride and Progress’.
It was intended to celebrate social changes and cultural achievements, while turning the spotlight on issues ‘‘that obstruct our march towards full equality’’, the organisers said.
Parade-goer Zara Makkink said she originally got involved with the event as a volunteer in 2016. She decided to return as a spectator this year.
‘‘Initially I think I just wanted to help out and then I realised it’s really nice to not have to feel ashamed about being who I am,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s not an experience I’m used to, so it’s quite cool, actually getting to show off [who I am].’’
The event intends to celebrate social changes and cultural achievements.