It’s nearly Pride Week! Lasting a little bit longer than an actual week, starting Thursday 15 March, Pride Week is a celebration of sexuality- and gender-diverse folks in Ōtautahi, and it’ll feature allsorts, from parties to seminars, art shows to dog walking. The rainbow flag will fly at the Christchurch City Council Civic Offices from 15 to 25 March.
However, pride celebrations have pretty sombre beginnings. The first pride marches in the USA were protests against the mistreatment and discrimination of LGBT+ people by the police, public services, and the law. As rainbow communities have largely seen great leaps forward in these areas over the past 40-50 years, these pride events focus more and more on celebrating diverse identities – but it’s important to take a moment to remember that there is still a struggle; that people are still being discriminated against because of their sexuality or their gender identity, both close to home, and globally.
Find out more about Christchurch Pride:
Here’s my top 3 pride events you should check out happening in Ōtautahi in the coming weeks:
I have a slight bias towards this event because I’m the MC! But who doesn’t like a quiz??
Friday 23 March 7pm to 10pm, The Foundry, 90 Ilam Road
Christchurch Pride has started with an Art Show for a few years now, and it’s always a good night, with lots of mingling and snacks! Plus there’s an opportunity to buy some new artwork and support local LGBT+ artists at the same time. Thursday 15 March 5pm to 8pm, Windsor Gallery, 386 St Asaph Street
I’ve been along to this event in previous years, and it is ridiculous fun. With all proceeds going towards a local youth support group, and the chance to win some fabulous prizes, it’s well worth it…who knew bingo could be so much fun?! Tuesday 20 March 7pm to 10pm. Sixty6 On Peterborough, Christchurch Casino
If this is a topic you’d like to learn more about, the library has some great reading/viewing material! Here’s some of the things I’ve enjoyed recently:
Queer: A Graphic History Meg John Baker and Julie Scheele – A non-fiction graphic novel style book delving into the history and key milestones of LGBT+ rights, as well as an introduction to queer theory. Engaging and witty and fun to read!
Pride – a film with all your favourite British actors about an unlikely partnership between gay and lesbian activists and striking miners in Wales.
Milk – a beautiful and heartbreaking film about Harvey Milk, an openly gay politician and activist in San Francisco in the 70s.
The library has a book about Harvey – and an opera.
Tomboy Survival Guide – Ivan Coyote – Brilliant, funny, serious, adventurous stories about growing up in rural Canada and navigating gender and sexuality.
Read our blog posts about Ivan, and Look up Ivan on YouTube too! They’re an incredible live storyteller.
Of course, there’s a never ending list of books and films to read and watch that explore what it means to be sexuality- and gender-diverse from a range of different cultural perspectives – Why not introduce yourself to something new this Pride Week?
Regardless of your orientation or identity, pride is a time to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion – a good reminder to have a look at your workplaces and community spaces and check they are inclusive and welcoming environments; or educate yourself on some new language or ideas within the rainbow community; find out what is going on for rainbow communities in other parts of the world; and, most importantly, check in with LGBT+ people in your life and remind them that they are loved.