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Dunedin Pride 2014

Dunedin Pride 2014

November 11- 15th, 2014

Pride2014 is set to be bigger and more fabulous than ever. This year features a queer* art exhibition, Dunedin diversity strategy launch, and the return of the popular Camp Carnival and after party.

Dunedin Pride spokesperson and OUSA Queer Support Coordinator, Mr. Neill Ballantyne said, “It’s exciting to see the events come together in the lead up to the week. Last year we had hundreds of people come to the Octagon for a family-friendly carnival and the dance party sold out. This year we are planning for it to be even bigger for the people coming out to show their support.”

Various studies including the Youth 07 report have shown that times are still tough for LGBT young people as they come to terms with their identity in sometimes hostile environments. “It is unacceptable that same-sex attracted youth are statistically more likely to experience significant mental health concerns, such as suicidality and depression during adolescence than their opposite sex attracted counterparts.” Mr. Ballantyne said, “This is why it is important to have big, bold and public events which celebrate diversity in our communities.”

Pride2014 will kick off on Tuesday November 11th with the Art Exhibition opening in the Pioneer Woman’s Hall. Exhibition organiser, Dr. Lee Smith said, “We have a diverse range of art from mature and youthful queer artists as well as their supportive allies.” Dr. Smith explains that this “combination of artists is not only representative of diversity in the queer community but also highlights the inclusive nature of Pride2014”.

Friday sees a public event to launch the Dunedin Diversity Strategy. Neill Ballantyne who is organising the launch said, “This event is the result of a consultative hui we held last year which identified the needs of queer* people in Dunedin. We took recommendations from a range of community groups and produced this strategy which sets a framework for creating the most inclusive and affirming city in New Zealand. We already have major employers in Dunedin committing to the Charter principles and we look forward to having further input and suggestions for implementation.”

The carnival on Saturday is set to be a colourful festival of food, fun and information. There will be a range of delicious food vendors, interesting information stalls, live music, dance performances, and other family-friendly activities.

“We are hoping for a beautiful, sunny Dunedin summer’s day so the Octagon will be packed with people enjoying the atmosphere,” Mr. Ballantyne said. “This is a great way for people to come and show their support as well as have a great time!”

The final event – the Pride2014 Dance Party – will be held at Fever Club, featuring a sparkely array of music and performances. Mr. Ballantyne and the Dunedin Pride Committee are planning for it to be another sell out event after its success in 2013. Mr Ballantyne explains that, “We were completely sold out before the event, and had big lines waiting to get in last year, so we know it’s going to be another great finale!”

ENDS

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