The Midsumma Pride March celebrated its 25th annual march on Sunday 2 February with more than 10,000 people from 220 groups forming a colourful and proud rainbow family. Looking around on the day, we could see all sorts of marchers, ranging from a badminton team to scouts, Brazilian drummers to car enthusiasts, as well as various community organisations and other schools. Tennis great Martina Navratilova took a break from playing legends at the Australian Open to help lead the march down Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, alongside Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, and Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese.
This was the third time our Carey Pride and Equality Group marched in the event. Carey’s largest group to date, with 48 students and staff, gathered at the Ian Johnston Oval early on Sunday to join in the celebrations and message of inclusion and diversity for our LGBTQIA+ students and staff.
Year 12 student Rheanna, Pride and Equality Group Captain and one of our Senior School Community Leaders, was overwhelmed by the supportive and inclusive atmosphere and spoke about the experience and impact of being part of a broader community event like the Pride March:
‘As a proud ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, being a part of the Carey Pride and Equality Group is such an eye-opening experience. I feel that after each meeting, I can better support my family and friends and understand with more clarity the gravity of the discriminatory issues they face and how best to tackle them in a way that is respectful and effective. As the 2020 Carey Pride and Equality Group Captain and School Community Captain, I aim to recreate the exuberance that I and many others felt at the 2020 Midsumma Pride March within the Carey community, as I recognise its crucial role in accepting and truly appreciating one's identity. I believe the community deserves more recognition for that purpose.’
Staff member and Pride and Equality Group staff ally Jason Ross spoke of a great sense of solidarity and pride among the tens of thousands of people who either marched or lined the street applauding:
‘The Pride March is an incredibly positive and strong affirmation for our LGBTQIA+ youth community as it offers the opportunity for some of our most vulnerable to be centre stage, celebrated and have their chance to shine. I could hear the crowd shouting, “Go Carey”, “Well done Carey,” and I felt enormously proud to be a member of our community, who genuinely puts into practice the message we share – “we are a caring community who acknowledges, welcomes and celebrates diversity.”’
The day’s strong message of community and celebration through participation and inclusion most certainly resonated with all involved. Our aim is to continue to build on the attributes of connectedness, courage and collaboration through the positive messages being delivered through the students involved in the Carey Pride Group.
Carey Pride and Equality Group teacher liaison