GLL: What does Pride mean to you?
CA: I was raised by two lesbian mothers, which wasn’t easy in a small town. Pride for me is an annual reminder there are more battles to win for the international queer community, for lesbian visibility, trans rights, and LGBT+ freedom in countries where your natural sexuality is still a crime.
GLL: Tell us about your first Pride experience, what and where was it?
CA: Sydney Mardi Gras as a spectator in my early twenties. The crowds on the sidewalk were ten deep, with people standing on milk crates to watch. I recall being fascinated by the show of support from all walks of life, the visibility, the proudness, the fun! This was a long way from how I felt at boarding school being bullied daily by other boarders taunting me with “Gaymos!” These days I am proud to be Gaymos!
GLL: What is your favourite part of Pride?
CA: Participating in any community events that surround pride is always a highlight of the summer for me. Whether it’s marching in the parade or attending art exhibitions or watching queer films.
GLL: Do you have a favourite Pride memory?
CA: There are so many to choose from. But one standout memory is from the time I was a magazine editor at Bent Magazine. I hired a stretch limo and plastered colour cutouts of LGBT+ celebrities all over the windows. With fake body parts stuck in the doors, as though the famous gay celebs were all stuck inside. Was a really fun memorable moment with my close friends then. In recent years marching with Peter Tatchell has been heartwarming, seeing the well-deserved reception he receives.
GLL: Why do you think Pride is still important?
CA: It’s great to celebrate the victories, but I truly believe a sense of community is vital for our well-being. For many LGBT+ people, Pride is their coming out moment, they no longer feel alone. We should celebrate but we need to also bring awareness to the persecution of LGBT+ brothers and sisters across the world not so fortunate to have their sexual freedom.
BTW, the last London Pride I took part in I filmed and made this video for fun.
Check it out here!