BRISBANE is set to make a big statement during International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) this year when the state police force and not just one but two of its bridges get into the spirit of the occasion.

Although Queensland Police Service (QPS) have taken part in IDAHOT events before, this year will be the first time they’ll have a stall and will fly the rainbow flag from its headquarters in the state capital.

 In addition, the QPS website will promote IDAHOT for the first time, which takes place annually on May 17, and in August QPS officers will participate in Wear It Purple Day by wearing purple bootlaces.

The news comes after the QPS LGBTI Support Network was formed in February.

“By celebrating and embracing diversity, we will ensure that we create a safe and supportive workplace for all members of the QPS,” said Deputy Commissioner Stephen Gollschewski, who serves as the executive sponsor of the network.

The Brisbane LGBTIQ Action Group (BLAG) welcomed the news from QPS.

“[They’re] working hard to build bridges of good communications between the police and the queer community,” BLAG spokesperson Phil Browne said.

While the iconic Story Bridge will once again be lit in rainbow colours for the third year in a row on IDAHOT, for the first time the city’s other main bridge, Victoria Bridge, will also be lit in rainbow colours.

“The recent introduction of LED lights on Brisbane’s other main bridge… has made it possible to mark significant events there as well,” Browne said.

Brisbane City Council has also confirmed that City Hall would be decorated in rainbow lights and flags on IDAHOT.

“When the flag comes down at night then the lights go on,” Browne said.

“Currently, we only have one night lighting confirmed, we are hoping for four nights.”

“Having the rainbow flag and lights from the start of our IDAHOT events on Saturday right through the actual day of IDAHOT on Tuesday (May 17) sends a more powerful message of LGBTI inclusion to the mainstream community than does in just one day.”

“We’ve got a four-day request pending and are still waiting for the response… This is consistent with multiple other councils that have similar initiative for longer than four days.”

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