OPINION: Pride March, Pertinent and Powerful in 2020

2 March 2020
Midsumma Festival

I’ve been an out-and-about queer for the last five years, but 2020 marked my first year marching with pride as I joined the Graduate Student Association contingent.

Walking with the colour, fanfare, love and welcomed embrace that is synonymous with the Pride March, I was reminded of how important these events (and my attendance) are — even today. I’ll happily tell you I’m bisexual if it comes up in conversation, but fear of family and community opinions remains residual as much as I try to convince myself otherwise.

These fears are even provoked by something as seemingly harmless as pushback about the necessity of Pride March in the first place.

“Gay marriage is legal in Australia now, so why do you still need this outlet?”

This kind of response disregards the psychological distress the queer community had endured and continue to face. In 2017, human rights were put to a public vote. Even more so, it negates the fact that our non-heteronormative clan includes more than just gay couples, and that the entire LGBTQI+ population still experiences discrimination at the highest levels.

No matter how much we cheer and dance in feather boas and rainbow flags, cis-gender and straight people remain the most visible and accepted faces in the community. Additionally, today in Australia, political movements threaten to legalise mistreatment based on identity, which includes one’s sexuality and gender.

In this context, we need these marches more than ever to celebrate our uniqueness and stake our claim to a discrimination-free existence. So, in 2020 and beyond, don’t just let us have our march — support us and join us as allies! I’ll see you there as I continue to celebrate being am-bi-dextrous with pride, marching even after all of us one day live on an equal, rainbow playing field.

UniMelb at the 2020 Midsumma Pride March was organised by the University of Melbourne Pride in Action Network. The celebration took place on 2 February at the Ian Johnson Oval.


Farrago extends its thanks to Felicity McIntosh, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Midsumma Festival, for the featured image.

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