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NZAF backs “Gorgeous” celebration

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    NZAF backs “Gorgeous” celebration - 20-Jan-2005
    The New Zealand AIDS Foundation says a street festival celebrating gay, lesbian and transgender people will help build support and counter stigma for the gay community in Wellington.
    The street party ‘Gorgeous’ is planned for the afternoon of Saturday 19 February at Manners Mall.

    NZAF Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier says the Foundation is providing support through funding, staff time, and even performers.

    “One of our health promoters, Edward Cowley, will be an MC for the event and also perform as his alter ego, nationally-acclaimed drag queen “Buckwheat.”

    She says the Foundation’s health-promotion model clearly shows that when communities are made stronger through pride, visibility, inclusion and acceptance, the members of those communities have better health outcomes. The Foundation’s support is consistent with its support of similar events in other centres, such as Auckland’s Big Gay Out on February 13.

    “It is Wellington’s answer to Hero, a style of event that has been lacking in the capital’s diary of festivals and celebrations in recent years.”

    Ms Le Mesurier says “Gorgeous” will make a wonderful start to the new year after a successful but difficult 2004. It will be an opportunity for people to take pride in their sexuality and gender orientations, and celebrate the advances they have made despite some of the homophobic comments reported in the media, particularly in the region of human rights.

    “It will also be an opportunity for heterosexual people to show their support for gay people, and recognise the fantastic and colourful contribution they make to Wellington.”

    The festival will have performers, live bands, DJ’s, comedians, stalls, and activities.

    “We hope it will also give the family and friends of gay people a chance to let their hair down and have some fun. We are proud to be associated with this wonderful initiative.”
    Ref: - NZAF - Over the Rainbow - Gorgeous

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