After having life breathed into it by many members of our community and being championed by Stonewall Hotel’s Glenn Hansen, we are knee-deep in Pride Week events around the city.
Many years ago Pride Week was pencilled in on the community’s calendar but it lost its momentum and seemed to disappear. With one of the world’s largest gay and lesbian populations, it is madness that Sydney didn’t follow cities around the world and celebrate this monumental time in our history.
So what’s it all about?
As I gingerly put my historian’s cap on, I whiz through my notes to catch up on a little gay history. In a nutshell, in the ’50s and ’60s it wasn’t very pleasant to be homosexual anywhere in the world, with an underground culture thriving, hiding from police wherever they could.
The Stonewall Riots grew out of a demonstration against police in the early morning of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Gays and lesbians had started to stand up and the gay rights movement was born. (The riots were said to be led by drag queens-¦.. still we aren’t afraid to stand up for what we believe in.)
Pride Week gets us all to see how far we have come and to recognise we still have a long way to go.
With so many events, it would be hard for me to direct you to anything in particular. My only suggestion is to take the time to find something that suits your taste.
I took the opportunity to reflect on life and being gay in Sydney today. I’m proud to be part of a community that is so diverse and accepting, letting me be how I want to be. I am proud to have a mate like Glenn from Stonewall who had the drive to get Pride Week back on its legs. I stand a little taller when I see showgirls rattling buckets or performing for charity functions, knowing we are here and will raise our hands for our community any time.
I’m proud of my Convicts family for standing up and saying we don’t like what you said on The Footy Show a couple of weeks ago.
Take a little time to stop and think of what makes you happy to be you. Sometimes it’s the simple things that stand out the most.
From salsa dancing, nude art classes, dinners and parties, Pride Week has something for everyone and also makes us aware of charities that are doing it tough out there.