I saw the slogan “Muriel’s Civil Union: We Do Movies Differently” and burst out laughing. I was happy that I had watched Muriel’s Wedding before I came to Australia. I understood the reference.
On Sunday, January 31, 2016, Melbourne celebrated its 21st Pride March in St. Kilda. Groups from all sectors of society came together to show their support for the LGBT community.
As I stood and watched the parade, I was amazed at the diversity of supporting groups- from politicians to high schools. Infants and grandparents. Drag queens and bears. I saw queer rock climbers, the wolves, the Australian Equality Party, LGBT running and walking groups and scrawny men in leather onesies.
The theme of this year’s march was marriage equality. This theme is especially pertinent to current events as the political discussion surrounding the issue is tense. While Australia has openly gay politicians, such as Penny Wong, there are conservative Christian groups that consider children of LGBT parents as a “stolen generation.”
Whereas Tony Abbott wanted to leave the marriage equality in the hands of the public with a plebiscite, as of now it appears that a bill could pass, as there is a majority of pro-marriage equality politicians in both the House and the Senate.
After all of the groups had passed through the march, participants and observers filed down to Catani Gardens.
Erin and I ran into two small boys who happened to be near the march. They didn’t really understand what was going on, but they were waving the flag and enjoying the crowds. One of the boys didn’t have a flag. He saw Erin’s and she offered it to him. “Do you want this?” she motioned to her flag. “YES!” he quickly replied.
Once we reached the gardens, it was already a full on party with live music, a dance area, and food and beverage trucks.