Below is the letter from The Affiliation, sent to the ‘international’ pride parade committee 24/02/2020
24th February 2020
Wellington Rainbow Affiliation Towards Hope (‘The Affiliation’)
Dear Wellington International Pride Parade Committee,
The Affiliation affirms that we welcome an open and honest public consultation process. We do not believe that closed door meetings are appropriate, as these concerns are not just from a few individuals, or a few organisations, but countless members of our community who have been asking for an opportunity to have a say across a three year period. For example, see the attached screenshot on your public Facebook event showing a comment from 33 weeks ago from a community member, asking if you would be holding community consultation. Their question has still not been addressed, despite the most recent comment only being a few days ago. Holding a private meeting will not address the public’s concerns, or give them an opportunity to have their ideas heard.
Open consultation with your Wellington rainbow whānau should not be a point of fear, but rather a part of your mandate. Talking with the community is necessary in order to hold a public community event. If there is no willingness amongst committee members to hold open and honest community consultations, we suggest that you find committee members who are willing to do this.
Please see additional comments below, which were sent to us from some of the 140+ individuals and 14 community organisations that have so far signed the letter calling for the community to boycott until the International Pride Parade committee holds open and honest public consultations.
We will also be publishing this letter publicly.
Wellington Rainbow Affiliation Toward Hope.
Quotes from rainbow people who sent us feedback on the letter which The Affiliation penned 17/02/2020.
“I love Pride month and usually feel very connected to my community, but I don’t feel heard or represented by WIPP.”
“Any local Pride event should engage and be run in consultation with the LBGTQIA community with whom it seeks to represent.“
“Who is the parade for if it isn’t for our community?”
“Pride parades should always be places where community is the focus and the most vulnerable and marginalized are given the love, care, support and empowerment they need. They should also be about challenging the aspects of society that are harmful to our greater communities. They can be bright, fun and colourful but style and presentation should never come before the above mentioned values”
“I have never felt included or welcomed regarding WIPP. I’ve never had any interest in going, it’s just so clearly not marketed toward me as a participant or even an audience. I’ve never understood why it claims to be a pride event when it doesn’t seem to want rainbow people to even attend.”
“It often feels like our voices aren’t being heard at all, and the WIPP’s blatant refusal to communicate only highlights this. I would love to see more inclusion from communities, and to have more interaction between the Queer Community and the WIPP as a whole.”
“I feel that WIPP did not consult the relevant rainbow groups in depth enough and instead pandered to corporations with false misleading intentions that ultimately caused pride to be a corporate, shallow and soulless wreck last year.”
“WIPP has been completely uncooperative and is out of touch with the Wellington Gay community. It doesn’t represent us or have our best interests at heart. It’s time for change.”
“I’ve flown to Auckland for OurMarch last year and this year and don’t see WIPP as representing the whole community in its current form.”
“Pride Parades should be governed, led and for Rainbow communities. “
”Pride is for queer people to be free to represent ourselves. It’s not a place for the most vulnerable members of our community to be excluded. If organisers of a “Pride” event can’t see that, they need to sit down and hand over the reins to people who can represent our community in the true spirit of PRIDE.”
“Pride is about the community and as such needs to represent the community’s values and views.“
“I would like to see the community once again joining together to celebrate their Pride in a parade that’s for everyone. In the current setup I can’t see this happening and want to join the voices raising awareness about this issue. I haven’t attended in recent years as I can’t see the community supporting it.”
“I remember these conversations far too well – saddened to hear that people in our community, especially those that are already minorities or marginalised, are being silenced. “
Link here to ‘Wellington Rainbow Alliance Challenges WIPP to Consult Community’, and a form to sign onto the earlier statement and/or share your thoughts
Link here to RNZ article in audio form
Link here to media article from Radio NZ