It can finally be announced that Auckland Pride is go for 2013. This is an exciting prospect for many people – not just those of us who now get to report on a huge number of events early next year, but for those who remember the celebrations of old and how they shaped their lives. Telling people where you were on the night of the first Hero party, the first Hero Parade or even the last Hero Parade is up there with remembering where you were when Princess Diana died (and in some cases, the stories aren’t comparably tragic).
With the news that Auckland Pride is gearing up for 2013, we can now welcome in a new era where GLBT folk young and old can create new memories of events, parties and parades. Many have questioned whether we need “another Hero” whilst remembering the old days – they talk of how connected people used to be and how there used to be a sense of community. It doesn’t take a genius to tie the death of the festival with the demise of the sense of community, and organisers such as Gresham Bradley are ready to give the GLBT community of Auckland back its “heart and soul”.
This heart and soul extends to outside the community of Auckland too. It’s time to get behind this event and support it – not just to see a bunch of Aucklanders smile, wave and give themselves a pat on the back for putting on a great show, but for people who live outside the big smoke and may be entirely disconnected from what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning. In isolated places, seeing positive, happy people spreading good cheer may be just the boost someone needs to come out to those in their area.
And if you don’t believe it’s time to get behind the community of Auckland or the community of New Zealand, perhaps we should put it this way. Back in the Hero days, the powers that be in City Hall tried to shut the parade down. These days, they’re paying for it. If the council can finally splurge and come to the party, you should too. It’s time to update those memories.
| Hannah JV