Why Parade?

July 15. 2019

There are many reasons to parade. Sometimes, it’s to honour our fallen heroes, sometimes to celebrate our achievements. Sometimes to remember our existence. For whatever reason, Wellington hasn’t had a PRIDE parade in 25 years. Why is that? I don’t know. And, given that our social enterprise (FusionV) is focused on promoting cultural understanding, it’s not my issue. And, yet it took someone from Northern Ireland (through historical action, and then fiction film), Mark Aston to put into action the idea that: One community should give solidarity to another. It’s really illogical to say, I’m into defending this community, but I don’t care about anyone else. Mark Aston, also echoes Martin Niemoller from another conflict, WW2. Niemoller poignantly reminds us that if we don’t stand up for other groups we are not part of, then when they come for us, there will be no one left. Does it take first-hand experience of bloodshed to open our minds to the suffering of others?

I don’t know why there hasn’t been a PRIDE parade in Wellington, but as part of the Wellington community, knowing what is happening to other members of the Wellington community should be important. And, inspired by leaders gone before, we should do ourselves, what we want others to do. Be the change we want to see. So, this is the first in a series of articles that explores some the reasons and expressions of those involved and those on the periphery of Wellington’s first PRIDE parade in 25 years. Of course, it’s from my perspective, and I will link what I hear with other community perspectives, but hopefully it sparks a discussion, some awareness of what different groups within our communities are feeling and experiencing.

Whether you come to the parade, support it in social and professional media, or simply note its happening in your town, at the very least, if we want to live in a tolerant place, please share what is happening in your communities. This blog provides a forum for sharing. The next article is based on a discussion with one of the main organisers of the paradeAmanduh La. Amanduh, combined with Dana de Milo and Georgina Beyeras well as a lot of other awesome volunteers are making the parade happen. If such an insightful, successful and professional person as Amanduh wants to put all that effort into organising the parade take the time to find out why.

For amazing pictures of some of the organisers, click here – but while you see the glitz and the glamour, make sure you also see the professionalism, skills and perseverance needed to make the difference Amanduh has. What can other communities learn from that? This blog is for sharing those and many other ideas. Join me, by sharing or by sending posts that tell stories of what and why our diverse communities are doing. I will put them up on this site – Fusing our Differences can impact so many people.