Words from Amnesty WA’s LGBTQI Action Group Convenor, Hannah Wahlsten, on Pride Parade and the Unstoppable Rainbow Force!
As another year of fighting for human rights starts to draw to a close, our group walked in what is always our biggest event of the year: PRIDE Parade. It is an event that draws thousands to line the streets of Perth’s CBD to watch the different floats that are both a part of and support the LGBTQI Community, with this year celebrating the theme of TOGETHER.
It is a theme that is all too perfect for our group; as for us there is no such thing as partial equality. We believe that only when all communities have equal rights will there be real equality. We believe in no one left behind; that together we must fight for our rights and by standing together, we will win.
Our entry, our moment on the parade route itself is the culmination of months of planning, researching, discussing and building, and some last-minute problem solving (sometimes right there on the parade route). But even as I stressed “is this working” or “is that looking alright”, I could not help but feel the beat of my heart rising to the cheering crowds, and smile covering my face as I see the others in our float having so much fun and having the opportunity to give high fives to the crowds. These diverse group of people who had come together from different groups, different friends, and all of them truly together for this beautiful, wonderful and exhilarating moment.
Around me I saw the flags of the different LGBTQI communities waving along, flashing their gorgeous colours in the air, showing the people in crowd that YES we stand with them. YES we will fight alongside them. And walking behind our wonderful flag wavers is our new banner bearing the proud words: NO ONE LEFT BEHIND.
As the moment ends and we walk off the route, my heart is still pumping with the exhilaration of being there. Pride in all the people that walked with us, both the veterans and the newbies, it feels me with a sense of renewal for the coming year, as a reminder, that we can come together. Only together are we this unstoppable rainbow force here to make this world a better and safer place where no one is left behind.
Words by Hannah Wahlsten
If you would like to get involved in making the world a safer place for all, head over to the LGBTQI Group Facebook page for details on their next monthly meeting!