The annual Djilang/Geelong Pride March and Festival, organised by volunteer-run organisation Geelong Rainbow, on March 25 attracted about 600 people to the march, including a number of contingents from local public health service Barwon Health, Barwon Child Youth & Family, Bethany, Salvation Army and a number of political parties, including Socialist Alliance, the Greens, Labor and the Animal Justice Party.
There was a significant rise in numbers compared to last year’s Pride March, after the Australian tour of British transphobe Posie Parker and the violent attack on queer and trans activists in Belfield, Sydney, by more than 300 religious conservatives.
The Djilang community mobilised in large numbers, with Geelong Trades Hall and local unionists marching in solidarity and to provide marshalling.
Geelong Rainbow president Dean Cardigan told Green Left he was very happy with the day, and the committee and other volunteers were very happy with the amount of community support shown.
Commenting on the recent upswing in transphobia, Cardigan said it was “absolutely necessary to counter the division and hate spread by figures like Posie Parker”, particularly as transphobes and the far-right unite.
“It’s Pride Marches and events like this one, that bring communities together, that will overcome the fear, lies and hate spread by the far right and religious conservatives,” Cardigan said.
“Today we’ve sent a strong message in Djilang that we stand with the rainbow community, in particular that we stand with our trans and gender diverse community members.”
Cardigan encouraged people to attend local rallies and events for Trans Day of Visibility on March 31 and to continue to show their support.