A Pride solidarity convoy was organised in Coomera on March 19 in response to a homophobic letter sent anonymously to a local household who was flying a rainbow flag. More than 100 cars took part.
The convoy started at the local shopping centre and went to a nearby park for the "Big Gay Picnic".
What started as a neighbourhood solidarity response on Facebook blossomed into a community event supported by Gold Coast Pride Festival and Gold Coast Rainbow Communities.
Summer Irvin told Green Left her “beautiful family” had been targeted after putting up a rainbow flag outside their house for Mardi Gras.
“A week later we received an anonymous letter from an alleged neighbour, who asked us to take down the flag.
“The letter said that by flying the rainbow flag we were promoting the queer community [and] that Coomera Waters wasn’t a queer community and we shouldn’t be promoting it.”
Irvin said the letter “compar[ed] the queer community to murderers and paedophiles — which was disgusting and abhorrent”.
After posting the letter on social media among her immediate circle, “the broader community were outraged and it kind of took off and went viral and led to two beautiful people in the Coomera community organising this event”.
Irvin said the response made her feel “like my heart could explode”.
“I’ve never been a part of something so amazing, and for it to happen so quickly. Honestly, I am overwhelmed with the response. I feel like this highlights that we need more pride events in local communities ... and there is such a need in regional areas such as the Gold Coast ... and this shows that there is a lot more work to be done.”
After having spoken about the abuse on social media, Irvin said she received many messages from parents with kids in the LGBTIQ community, who were scared for their children’s safety.
“I say that we stand up to these homophobes and we yell, we hold our pride flags out and we unite the community. We should be holding up our rainbow flags, not just for Mardi Gras, but all year round ... these events need to happen more often in regional communities, specifically for those kids."
[The Gold Coast Pride festival will take place on June 3.]