Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

It’s all busy-bees and butterfly wings for Tamworth Pride Inc, as they put the finishing touches on their float in preparation for their moment of glory on the internationally recognised stage of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 2nd March.

Building on the success of last years first-time appearance when 30 members made the pilgrimage, Tamworth Pride Inc has once again been accepted into the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

“We were lucky enough to be one of 14 recipients of a Mardi Gras Parade Grant thanks to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Google,” said Tamworth Pride Inc President, William Weller.

“We had such a great reception from the crowd last year and this year we are hoping to make it even better to really show that Tamworth is a safe, inclusive place to live and be proud to be yourself!!”

“The theme for Sydney Mardi Gras this year is ‘Our Future’. To encompass that theme, we named our float How a Butterfly Transformed Tamworth!”

“Our float is all about the metamorphosis and transformation process a butterfly goes through from Caterpillar to Butterfly.”

“We believe this symbolises the transformation people from the LGBTQIA+ community go through when they begin to fully embrace their authentic selves,” he said.

“So, we want to show that transformation in our float, and also capture the rich diversity of the Tamworth Region.”

“We really want to get to that magical number 50 (participants)! This is going to be such a fun and exciting experience!”

The parade is the feature finale of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) Festival which is renowned for its colourful flamboyance. SGLMG is a not-for-profit organisation born from a need to prove that, in the face of adversity and persecution, the LGBTQIA+ community can gain attention, facilitate social debate, and change opinions, laws and lives. They are actively trying to provide greater support beyond Oxford Street, including regional areas. 

While Tamworth Pride Inc are busy in the big smoke, Armidale Regional Council has stepped up to host Armidale’s first Pride in the Park event. In conjunction with Headspace Armidale, and supported by PCYC Armidale, BackTrack and Australian Leadership and Communication Training (ALACT), Armidale Regional Council has provided an afternoon filled with live entertainment, community service stalls, food and drink, kids’ entertainment and the BackTrack ‘Paws Up for Pride’ display.

Pride in the Park will be held in Armidale’s Curtis Park, from 3.00pm to around 7.00pm, on Friday 23rd February. The community is invited to spread the word and to bring friends and family to celebrate love, diversity, and community in a safe and welcoming space – to Be Bright, Be Bold, Be YOU!

In an unfortunate turn in the lead up to the happy event, Armidale radio stations 2AD and FM100.3 have come under sharp criticism online for encouraging homophobia with their social media post about the event, which asks listeners to call in and say why they support the event or not, and whether the park (which is Curtis Park, not Civic Park as noted in the post) is the right venue.

Controversial social media post about Armidale’s Pride in the Park

For more information on Armidale’s Pride in the Park event, head to the Pride in the Park Event page, Armidale Regional Council website or Headspace Armidale Facebook page

If you are interested in helping Tamworth Pride Inc reach their magic ‘50’ participants in the SGLMG Parade, or would like more information about the organisation, see the Tamworth Pride Inc Facebook page.