Concerns have been raised regarding this year’s Wellington Pride Parade afterparty theme “Go Tribal/ What’s Your Tribe”, with some members of the community saying the theme is “culturally insensitive” and others disappointed that there has been no community consultation regarding parade-related events.
This year the Pride Parade is being organised by the newly formed Wellington International Pride Parade (WIPP), independent of the organisers of the Wellington Pride Festival; Out Wellington Inc.
Out Wellington say they are not responsible for any choices or decisions made in regards to the Pride Parade or “Go Tribal” after party.
The WIPP website states that the organisation “is an ever-growing and evolving space designed to inspire all. It is a platform built on diversity, and creativity, allowing safe expression, boost acceptance and form lasting inclusive relationships in our LGBTTFIQ+ community and allies.”
Wellingtonian Sol Eleda is among those who believe the party theme is culturally insensitive and inappropriate, reflecting none of the true support for diversity and solidarity that a Pride event should be celebrating.
They have taken to Facebook to voice their concerns and write “WIPPS have not consulted sufficiently with the local Wellington LGBTQ+ community nor the many existing community groups who have been participating, organising and supporting Pride and Out in the Park for years.
“Consultation is important, as is representation. WIPPS should work to address this issue immediately, and find a theme that better reflects and supports its peoples.”
Their comment sits alongside a raft of others echoing the same concerns, including Mahinaarangi Baker, who writes “White-oriented, exclusionary and out of touch” and Danielle Calder who writes “…This has morphed into a money grabbing “celebration” only aimed at the wealthy and the white. How far we have strayed from our roots as a community that started pride events as protests. Now it looks like the organisers are only interesting in catering to the privileged few.”
The group are charging just over $80 for a ticket to the after party and are also hosting a “Legacy VIP soiree”, both of which are also attracting criticism.
Tabby Besley of InsideOUT is disappointed that WIPP has not consulted the local rainbow community regarding the events they are hosting.
“As it stands their events look to be culturally inappropriate and inaccessible, and many individuals and organisations in our community are concerned about feeling excluded from a Pride event which should be a time to celebrate their identities,” says Besley.
“I would encourage WIPP to reach out, engage with and listen to their community as soon as possible to ensure their events are something our local rainbow community attends and feels proud to be a part of.”
The organisation’s Go Tribal Party is advertised as “Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest ever LGBTI+ party” however there are currently only three people who have clicked attending on the Facebook event, with seven others ‘interested’.
Express contacted Wellington International Pride Parade for comment and were advised that the committee, chaired by Amanduh La Whore, was meeting next week and that the request for comment would be tabled and the group would be in touch.