For its fourth year, the Central West Pride March celebrated LGBTIQA pride through the Dubbo CBD on Saturday.
Organisations, groups and community members were among the crowd that marched from Bligh Street Soccer ovals to Victoria Park to celebrate the 2018 theme ‘unity’.
The event was supported by ACON, the leading NSW health promotion and education organisation, among other health and community groups.
For the first time the march was extended to 1.7 kilometres and finished at Victoria Park.
In another first, the march was organised by the community, led by a core group of 20 volunteers.
Central West Rainbow Alliance president Nic Steepe said the march was an “absolute success”.
He said the success was particularly because it was community-led.
“It would not be possible without the hard work and dedication, late nights, screaming matches, love, cuddles - all of that jazz,” Mr Steepe said.
He said the aim was to help dispel myths about the LGBTIQA community after the marriage equality debate and postal survey.
“Particularly after the marriage equality debate, a lot of people have asked, why we need a pride march, particularly in Dubbo, because we have marriage equality, we’re equal,” Mr Steepe said.
“The performers we have and the stories you hear, that’s why we need pride, to march down the street to be who we want to be.
“I definitely think we’ve achieved that, we’ve shown them we’re still here, we still need all the support and acceptance that the community can provide us.”
Mr Steepe said despite gaining marriage equality, there was still more that to be done for LGBTIQA equality.
“Some parts of the LGBTIQA have legal equality, but not all, there is a long way to go in terms of transgender individuals and intersex individuals, and I think some people don’t know that,” Mr Steepe said.
“I’m so happy I live in a world where I can walk down the street in this beautiful get up and not get bashed or thrown in jail or lose my job for that.
“Until we’re all accepted and until we can just come out, and it wont be a big deal, that’s when pride marches won't be needed.”
The Central West Rainbow Alliance president said while not believing that would occur in his lifetime, he could “hope”.
He said regional pride marches helped encourage equality outside of the city.
“There’s such a focus on metro areas like Sydney ... we lose such good people to the city, we want to make sure everyone knows they have a right to be proud of who they are no matter their post code,” Mr Steepe said.
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