Happy Photos of Auckland's Sunset Pride Parade


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Happy Photos of Auckland's Sunset Pride Parade

The annual Pride Festival event turns a glittery spotlight on issues that obstruct the march towards full equality. We sent photographer Kina Sai along.

Under the theme "Pride and Progress: The Carnival Continues", the Pride Parade edged kaleidoscopically down Auckland's Ponsonby Rd, a blur of glitter, happiness, and eye make-up the thickness of armour. The exuberance was catching: the crowd—many thousands strong—looked, in places, almost as excellent as those marching, glitter liberally shared among strangers, rainbows painted on cheeks. "Together, we will commemorate the great work of the past," the event's description read. "Together, we will party in the present. Together, we will move forward into the future."


The celebratory atmosphere was overwhelming, if only slightly tempered by the recognition of how much more there is to achieve. The parade was also intended to "turn the spotlight on issues that obstruct our march towards full equality".

More than 50 groups took part in the march, with only the Department of Corrections denied permission, the Auckland Pride Festival Board feeling it had failed to live up to promises made about improving support for LGBTQI+ inmates. Lexie Matheson, who serves on the board, told Stuff there was a disconnect between the progress—not that the fight is over—made by gay men and women and the on-going struggles of the Rainbow community. "We have serious issues around housing, healthcare, equality of educational opportunity, safety, and even where trans women are housed in men's prisons if we happen to get in trouble with the law," she said.

Words by James Borrowdale.

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