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LYC Big Gay Out 2014 celebrates diversity and condom culture

LYC Big Gay Out 2014 celebrates diversity and condom culture

New Zealand’s largest annual gathering for the LGBTI community is poised to set the stage for the Auckland Pride Festival on February 09 at Coyle Park in Auckland LYC Big Gay Out, now in its 15th

lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, their friends and families. The annual event kicks off two weeks of rainbow celebrations as part of Auckland Pride Festival.

As well as a celebration of diversity, the day is also an opportunity for engaging in a conversation about condom use among gay and bisexual men, who account for 80% of annual HIV diagnoses in New Zealand.

“Condoms are important to talk about”, says Joe Rich, LYC Big Gay Out spokesperson. “HIV is still a very relevant issue for gay and bisexual men and more work needs to be done. 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men living with HIV in Auckland don’t even know they’ve got it.”

LYC, which stands for Love Your Condom, is a programme developed by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) in collaboration with the gay community. NZAF’s Burnett Centre staff will also be on site, providing free tests for HIV and other STI’s.

LYC’s Big Ball Drop is back this year by popular demand. A helicopter will fly over Coyle Park releasing hundreds of brightly coloured ping-pong balls over the crowd. Each ball will win a prize, but, one out of the hundreds will win a trip for two to Sydney Mardi Gras.

As regulars to the annual event will agree, LYC Big Gay Out has a fun, festive vibe with much to offer. The Durex Main Stage line-up includes performances by Goodshirt, Kittens of the Internet, Lavina Williams, Hipstamatics and others including Buckwheat, Tess Tickle, Steven Oates, Miss Ribena, Buffy & Bimbo, L.O.V.E, Cindy of Samoa and Urzila Carlson. The park will have 120 market stalls offering everything from food and retail to information and support.

Like in previous years, the event has attracted extensive political support with the Prime Minister and many National, Labour and Green party members all confirming their attendance.

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