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Auckland Big Gay Out—14 February 2016

February 15, 2016

One of the many things I like about living in New Zealand is that it is the most open and tolerant society I’ve experienced.  Ever since I moved here in 2001 the city has held something called the Big Gay Out on a Sunday in mid-February.  It is a main event of the Auckland Pride Festival and is basically a family friendly gay themed carnival, party and community celebration rolled into one.

The Big Gay Out is always held at Coyle Park which is on a point on the Waitemata Harbour across from downtown Auckland.


As you arrive you think you are coming to just any other community fair.




But it doesn’t take long to figure out what the event is all about.






And in addition to food stalls and other interesting vendors there are lots of booths promoting gay pride and safe sex.





Lots of organisations got into the spirit of the day, even the bus company!




There was lots of entertainment, music and dancing.



They also had a giant screen where you could tweet your greetings to the crowd.



But what made the day so interesting and special was that it really was just a fun community family get together.  Even the New Zealand Police were there, not for crowd control but to recruit new cops.


And apparently it was working!


Even the (politically center right) Prime Minister came by to say hello—he’s the guy in the pink shirt flanked by two members of parliament.


You couldn’t help feeling pride in a community that was so willing to be open and inclusive.


And the objective was for the community to get out, meet new people and have fun.



We had a fun time wandering around and enjoying the crowd and the sights.  And it was so nice to be at a place where no one asked me what I thought about the US presidential election and candidates!


12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2016 12:48 pm

    Well done Tom

  2. itsmyhusbandandme permalink
    February 16, 2016 12:38 am

    Great post. Looks like a terrific event.

    • February 17, 2016 8:00 pm

      Thanks for visiting and commenting Jean-Paul. Remember February in Auckland is a great alternative to February in London!

  3. February 17, 2016 11:22 pm

    Big Gay Out. Those Kiwis and their humour 🙂

    • February 18, 2016 7:23 am

      Thanks for the comment! The backstory makes the name even more clever. There used to be a full day rock show in Auckland every January called “The Big Day Out.” So everyone was used to the two events back to back.

  4. February 19, 2016 10:07 am

    If New Zealand is the so incredibly open and tolerant, how come the only animals allowed in aside from cats and dogs are Australian rabbits and guinea pigs and British chinchillas? If I wanted to bring my pet anaconda, for instance, how much openness and tolerance would I encounter at my point of entry?

  5. Dan permalink
    June 12, 2016 5:17 am

    CyberQuill, NZ’s laws on biosecurity and border protection are non discriminatory. it is not you personally being disallowed to have a snake, No-one is allowed snakes. Snakes do not belong in NZ. Your ownership of snakes is a choice, choices have consequences. Being Gay, trans, black, white, Maori, pakeha, Asian, or disabled is Not a choice, therefore should not be grounds for discrimination.
    The Protection of NZ’s Agricultural economy And it’s unique biosphere is of critical concern to the nations interests.
    NZ has a long and disastrous history of ecological catastrophe resulting from intentional and inadvertent introduction of alien species. National policy is to avoid any more such calamities.
    No Snakes.

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