Cairns Tropical Pride float gets set to Come Out for Spring
Cairns Tropical Pride Festival is playing the youth card this year with its entry in the annual Cairns Festival Parade.
The float’s drivers for the August 30 parade will be Nikira Lowe, 18, and Jesse Cook, 21.
Because this year’s Pride theme is ‘Come out and celebrate Spring!’ the float promises to be a riot of colour, movement and love.
Nikira Lowe came out at age 17, after leaving high school, and recalls that it was a scary time, not knowing how people would react.
“When I came out, I felt a lot more comfortable with who I was,” she says. “Knowing that I had a supportive group of friends and family made it all easier.”
Last year's Cairns Pride float.
Jesse Cook says Cairns Tropical Pride Festival is the time of year when the queer community comes together to celebrate its identity.
“I was born in a country town outside of Cairns and ‘coming out’ was really not done there,” Cook says.
At 14 years of age he defiantly stood in front of the mirror confessing his sexuality to himself first, before he was ready to tell family and friends.
“It was hard, but my mother was always there beside me," says Cook, who also performs in drag.
"It was also the time to decide who my friends were. That’s the great thing about Cairns Tropical Pride and the festival: you are amongst friends.”
IMAGE: Nikira Lowe and Jesse Cook with friend Finn Butler (centre) are set to drive the Cairns Tropical Pride float in this year’s Cairns Festival Parade.