Indigenous LGBTI leaders led this year’s Brisbane Pride Festival march, which saw Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley filled with rainbows on Saturday.
Some 10,000 LGBTI community members and supporters heard from Brisbane Pride organisers, local politicians and activists before the march embarked at midday, started by the roar of the Dykes on Bikes and the Brisbane Gay Riders.
LGBTI members of Queensland’s Indigenous community led the pride march for the first time. A symbolic flag exchange during the rally saw traditional elders exchange the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags with the LGBTI community’s rainbow flag as a gesture of mutual respect.
Rebecca Johnson of the IndigiLez Women’s Leadership and Support Group said culture and community connections are important to all First Nations people.
“As a mark of respect we embrace the opportunity for a flag exchange between Brisbane Pride and First Nations community, to draw on and share the values of our commitments to the reconciliation journey throughout our communities,” she said.
— Ian Stewart (@CoPStewart) September 23, 2017
The annual event also had a special significance amid the same-sex marriage postal survey campaign.
The Equality Campaign director Tiernan Brady urged everyone in the crowd to have respectful conversations about the issue to “make this year’s rally the last without marriage equality.”
“Whether we’re one of the thousands of supporters here, the thousands who are knocking on doors around Australia, or whether we’re one of the young gay and lesbian people in regional Australia talking to their mum and dad about who they are, we’re all in this together,” he said.
A group of six anti-gay religious protesters who walked ahead of the parade were drowned out by chants of “love is love” and “preach love, not hate” from the crowd as the march moved down Brunswick Street.
P R O U D ✨️There's nothing better in life than to love and be loved ❤️ Thank you to my family & friends who are absolutely magical, supportive and inspiring! Today was so great thanks for coming to show your support and spread love with me @roc90 @danirc95 @emily_exploring @jono_davis8 @flickrunting @carlabirdy #BrisbanePride #Pride #LGBTQI #Gay #Lesbian #Proud