Australia is one of only three countries around the globe that have been chosen by Interpride as candidates to host World Pride in 2023.

Sydney is competing against Houston, Texas, and Montreal, Quebec to be crowned the next host city for World Pride, which happens every two years – leading some to dub it the “Olympic Games of pride events.”

If Australia is successful, World Pride will be held in tandem with the 2023 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras board member and 78er Robyn Kennedy spoke to the Star Observer from Copenhagen Pride Week where she is taking notes, as the city is preparing to host World Pride in 2021.

Kennedy said there are unique circumstances that Sydney hopes to use to their advantage in their bid.

When previous World Pride host cities have been decided at Interpride’s AGMs, only those member organisations that can afford to have delegates physically in the room have been allowed to vote, and so mostly only North American and European delegates have been able to participate in the past.

But at the 2019 AGM, online voting will be allowed for the first time, allowing Interpride members from all over the world to participate in deciding the 2023 host nation and city.

Interpride are still determining the format that online voting will take but Kennedy is confident that it will be in place in time for the Interpride AGM being held in Athens in October.

To that end, the Sydney bid team are trying to get as many LGBTQI community organisations around Australia and around the world to register as Interpride members with voting rights at the AGM in order to support Australia’s bid.

Sydney has also been sending delegations to major pride events around the world to put Australia’s case to strategic Interpride member organisations.

A Sydney delegation was at World Pride 2019 in New York in June for the 50thanniversary of Stonewall, and others have been dispatched to Pride in London, EuroPride in Vienna, Long Island Pride, Madrid Pride, Salzberg Pride, Brazil Pride Conference and the Graz Pride Parade.

The Sydney team believe they have a unique case to host World Pride because the event has never been held in the Southern Hemisphere before and because of Australia’s strategic location in the Asia-Pacific region which is home to 60 percent of the world’s population.

The Asia-Pacific region is also home to many of the countries that still criminalise LGBTQI people and a significant part of Sydney’s bid is to hold a regional human rights conference during World Pride to address those issues and bring them to the forefront.

“The human rights abuses in our region are quite significant compared to the other bidders and both the USA and Canada have held World Prides before,” Kennedy said, “We have a really strong focus on regional human rights in our bid.”

The Sydney bid team say the criteria for becoming Interpride members is quite generous, so if your organisation would like to support Australia hosting World Pride in 2023 it’s worth putting in an application.

“The criteria is that the organisation is not-for-profit, and that you have held a ‘pride event’ in the 15 months before the October AGM,” Kennedy said.

“A pride event is defined by Interpride extremely broadly. It could be a march, or a cultural event, it could be a festival or a party.”

Go to www.mardigras.org.au/worldpride for more information

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