Hello, Mr (Pride) President!
Deeje Hancock, president of the Brisbane Pride Festival, speaks with Alistair Sutton about this peak LGBTIQ event.
Brisbane Pride Festival is bigger, bolder and better than ever this year, with its theme, ‘True Colours’, being a fitting symbol of our LGBTIQ communities’ achievements. For the third year running, Pride president Deeje Hancock is enthusiastic about the 2013 program and what Pride represents to us all.
“A sense of community is its essence,” Hancock observes. “It allows people from all walks of life within the LGBTIQ community and our supporters to come together and celebrate, as well as honour our past achievements. It is also an opportunity for us to think about what battles we still have to fight and win in order to bring our basic rights forward.”
Pride’s 2013 theme, ‘True Colours’, represents the amazing diversity of the LGBTIQ community with its varied interests, talents and expectations. “I have been asking the question of people, ‘How will you show your true colours this Pride?’ and really I want everyone in our community to get something positive out of it,” Hancock says.
In a historic first, Fair Day will be held at New Farm Park on September 21. “The Brisbane Pride Rally will commence at 10am on Brunswick Street, between Ann and McLachlan streets,” says Hancock.
“The Pride Committee is excited by this move to New Farm Park, and we would love to see all the LGBTIQ community there – it’s your day of celebration after all, so come out and have some fun!”
Councillor for Central Ward Vicki Howard was instrumental in securing this new site for Fair Day, along with New Farm United Junior Soccer Club, which the Pride Committee hopes will become the new home for the event in future years.
“Councillor Howard worked very hard to secure council funding for Brisbane Pride and have it recognised as a festival of cultural and local significance,” says Hancock. “This is a big step for us and supports the work done by the committee over the last couple of years to get Pride onto a sound financial basis.
“I think it is also appropriate here to acknowledge the significance of the annual Queen’s Birthday Ball Awards. This is our major fund raising event outside the Pride Festival month; the owners of the awards, Skypak, generously allow us to run the awards for the benefit of our community.”
The diversity of the LBTIQ Community is reflected in the scope of the program ranging from art exhibitions, the Pride Walk, roller-skating and roller blading events as well as rainbow families story time and queer films at selected council libraries. There are wine tastings, karaoke, dances, dinners, the annual pub crawl and the Mr and Ms Pride events. “All of Pride is important,” says Hancock. “If you look at the scope on offer there is truly something for all our community and I do encourage everyone to take part.”
Brisbane Pride Festival, September 1-30, 2013. www.brisbanepridefestival.com.au
IMAGE: Brisbane Pride Festival president Deeje Hancock.