Community calls lack of Maori representation into question, while one Pride Board member goes on an expletive-laden attack on “gay white men.”
While many of the current board had talked about a more inclusive festival this year, a number of community members are questioning the Auckland Pride’s commitment to Maori representation.
Speaking with express, Mika Haka says he is disappointed there is no dawn ceremony as there have been in previous years. “Now we have a programme with no dawn ceremony or Maori events… If you don’t want us there, we won’t come!”
“Hopefully 2020 will be a better year for Auckland Pride.”
Haka’s comments come after Pride Board member Phylesha Brown-Acton has gone on an expletive-laden rant about “gay male privilege.”
Brown-Acton took to Facebook to denounce those who oppose the activist group People Against Prisons Aoteroa, who initiated the ban on uniformed police participating in the Pride Parade. Speaking about the opponents of the ban, she said, “your gay white male privilege has been disruptive, extremist and abusive to the lives of trans people’s way before PAPA came along and started addressing the inequities of your abuse.”
She went on to say that gay male opponents should, “take your moral compass and shove it up the hole that you can’t seem to keep closed.”
Brown Acton goes on to say that, “gay white men,” have excluded Maori and Pacific voices from previous festivals and that is the root cause of the currently divided LGBT community in Auckland.
Brown Acton has been among a number of board members who have said the ban on uniformed Police participating in the Pride parade was a way to be inclusive to Maori and Pacific voices who felt excluded.
That is being called into question however by Maori, who point out that the current festival does not include a single Maori event, something noted not only by Mika Haka but others online also, with community member John Kingi taking to Facebook to ask if Maori were even consulted, writing, “Did no Maori want to organise an event? Were Maori approached? If not, why? Did the organisers seek to engage throughout the Takataapui community to seek help in regards to this?”
“It appears we are again a marginalised community within a marginalised community. This is where and why genuine representation is needed.”