FORECASTED rain did not deter Brisbane spirits during International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) last Saturday, with the city celebrating an Australian first: the lighting of its main bridge in rainbow colours.

The Queensland capital’s iconic Story Bridge was lit in the colours of the pride flag (pictured above) to commemorate IDAHOT, marking the first time the bridge’s colourful LED lights were used for an LGBTI event.

PICTURE GALLERY: Story Bridge lights up for IDAHOT

The bridge lighting was also the only one of its kind in Australia.

A key figure in organising the colourful light display, Brisbane councillor Vicki Howard was on hand and celebrate the occasion on the riverside with fellow Cr Victoria Newton.

“I am proud that council is showing its strong support for IDAHO by lighting the Story Bridge with rainbow colours,” Howard told the Star Observer.

“Council supports the message behind the International Day Against Homophobia which is why we are lighting up one of our most iconic features in Brisbane and I believe this is a fantastic way to promote this important inclusive message in the Brisbane community.”

Council confirmed in April that the Story Bridge would be lit in rainbow colours to commemorate IDAHOT every year for the foreseeable future.

The day was marked by two other events that saw LGBTI community members and the wider community unite to remember what the day meant to them.

An event held in New Farm Park close to another part of Brisbane River saw an intimate gathering of community health, support and welfare groups along with community members, local police officers and bi-partisan political representatives.

There were speakers from PFLAG, the Queensland AIDS Council, trans* support organisations, the Lesbian Health Action Group, Amnesty International, local police, the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland and several others. The event also featured a memorial ceremony where attendees were invited to reflect upon victims of homophobia and transphobia, and what the day meant to them.

The latest rally by Equal Love Brisbane was also held on the day to coincide with IDAHOT, calling for marriage equality and an end to discrimination against the LGBTI community. Hundreds took to the streets of Brisbane for the peaceful march.

IDAHOT events were also held throughout the rest of the country, which included other equality rallies and memorial events, as well as councils in inner-city, suburban and regional areas raising the rainbow flag on their town hall.

(Main photo credit: David Alexander; Star Observer)


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