The Auckland Pride Parade, held last Saturday, was supposed to be a happy event for all the family. Groups from ANZ and Westpac marched. Staff of the Coca Cola corporation marched to express their pride in being employees of a very large corporation founded to manufacture a drink that used to have cocaine in it, but now doesn’t. Other groups that marched included a contingent from the Israeli Embassy, prison guards and government MP Judith Collins accompanied by a posse of police officers.
A group called ‘No Pride in Prisons’ announced a counter-protest, which many people assumed was an attempt to argue that, while people may be proud of working for junk-food manufacturers, law-enforcement agencies or embassies that forge passports, nobody should take pride in being in prison. However, when the members of No Pride in Prisons reached the parade route, they started shouting “We’re here, we’re queer!” A representative from the Bank of New Zealand was heard to say “Why are they bringing sexual orientation into it? This is our day. This is the only day of the year when we can openly express our pride in being bank tellers. People tell us we’re not marginalised, because we have a Prime Minister used to be a banker, but the fact is that he doesn’t represent low-status bank tellers like me.”
The Pride Parade is an initiative of Prime Minister John Key and Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye, and is loosely modelled on ‘gay pride’ marches of previous decades. This sometimes causes confusion. After the parade, a policewoman who had been marching said “This is about pride. This is about us celebrating our pride in being allies to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Fa’afafine communities. I think it’s very arrogant for members of those communities to disrupt our march on the one day when we get to celebrate our pride in being their allies”
“But it’s not really about you, is it? Surely it’s about them?”
“It’s about us too. We are the A in LGBTIAF”
At that point, a young man butted in and said “It’s not your A. The A stands for asexuals like me”
The police woman stood up on tippy toes, her face red with anger, and said “No, it’s ours. People like me go through a lot of shit in the police for being allies”
“Um, I think we’re the ones who are actually marginalised in New Zealand culture”
The young man shrugged, and replied “I’d rather not, actually.”
Late into the night, a group of Fa-fafines from Manurewa wearing hi-viz vests were seen furiously scrubbing the surface of Ponsonby Road to remove a light rose-coloured stain that had spread across the whole surface. It is believed the stain was from a substance called pinkwash.