THE Queensland Deputy Premier and Brisbane Lord Mayor will take to the streets this Saturday to lead Brisbane Pride Festival’s rally and march, the first time the annual celebration has seen such high-profile political representation and participation.

The attendance of Jackie Trad — representing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk — and Graham Quirk will be one of several milestones celebrated during this year’s festival as they are joined by uniformed police and ambulance officers for the first time, in what is Brisbane Pride’s 25th anniversary year.

[showads ad=MREC]Brisbane federal Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro and Griffith federal Labor MP Terri Butler — who both co-signed a cross-party bill for marriage equality — will also be joined by local Brisbane Liberal-National councillor Vicki Howard, to top off an impressive show of bipartisan support for the LGBTI community.

Speaking to the Star Observer, Trad said helping to celebrate how far Queensland had come in those 25 years was an “honour”.

“I’m really honoured to be helping lead this weekend’s Brisbane Pride Festival march, particularly as this year marks the festival’s 25th anniversary, as well as 25 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Queensland,” she said.

“Legal recognition of and respect for the LGBTIQ community in Queensland has come so far in 25 years, but we all know there is a way to go.”

While southern states have seen a high level of political representation at their annual pride festivals for several years,  Quirk will “proudly” match his Sydney and Melbourne counterparts in celebrating diversity.

“[Brisbane Pride] is a celebration of Brisbane’s vibrant cultural life and the Lord Mayor is pleased to be able to support it by also helping to officially launch the festival,” a spokesperson for the Lord Mayor told the Star Observer.

Under his leadership, Brisbane City Council has committed to providing ongoing funding for Brisbane Pride Festival.

Instead of an overriding theme like previous years, 2015’s festival will focus on “commUNITY”— a chance for Brisbane’s LGBTI community to voice what matters to them.

“The rally aims to inform, educate, inflame and inspire,” Brisbane Pride president Peter Black said.

“In previous years we’ve addressed issues such as HIV, public health and safety, and of course, marriage equality.

“However, the rally is about more than just politics. It’s a wonderful chance to celebrate and say thanks to the people who help to make a positive change in the community.”

The rally, march and Fair Day lie at the heart of each year’s festival and like last year, one of Brisbane’s most iconic streets — Brunswick St — will come alive with colour and sound as the march makes it way down again to New Farm Park.

The main stage at Fair Day will be hosted by Queensland drag icon and multi-award winner Martini Ice along with Melbourne comedian Em Rusciano, who has just toured the country with her shows Divorce: The Musical and The Motherload.

“Being a gay man trapped inside a straight woman’s body who looks like a lesbian, I feel I am an honorary member of this fabulous community and I cannot wait to be there to celebrate pride,” Rusciano said.

“Prepare the glitter cannons.”

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