Explosion of colour as Braddon hosts street party in the name of love
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Explosion of colour as Braddon hosts street party in the name of love

Lonsdale Street was transformed into a swirling mix of colour, music, light and love on Saturday with the Yes!Fest street party marking one year since the "yes" vote on the same sex marriage survey.

After the vote was announced, with Canberra returning the highest percentage of "yes" votes of any state or territory at 74 per cent, an impromptu party broke out on the Braddon street.

Leo Santangelo Hall, 15 months, of Hackett getting involved and dancing during the circle of love parade with Sheba Williams.

Leo Santangelo Hall, 15 months, of Hackett getting involved and dancing during the circle of love parade with Sheba Williams.Credit:Elesa Kurtz

This year organisers decided to do it all again with more of the road closed off for revellers, plus food and drink vans and live music.

The party kicked off in the afternoon with dozens of children making their way to the rainbow roundabout to add their own chalk decorations.

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As everyone danced along to 1980s hits, one MC of the event came to microphone and asked everyone come together in a "circle of love, compassion, empathy and inclusion".

She said the LGBTI community was still vulnerable and asked everyone to pledge to support one another and have each other's back.

Daniel Little, Natalie Plummer, and Logan Little, 9, of Curtin take part in drawing with chalk on the rainbow roundabout.

Daniel Little, Natalie Plummer, and Logan Little, 9, of Curtin take part in drawing with chalk on the rainbow roundabout.Credit:Elesa Kurtz

MLA Suzanne Orr was a patron of the festivities, which was government supported with money also crowd funded, and she said as a member of the LGBTI community it was important for her to support her peers.

"Marriage equality has been such a long fought for and long advocated for eventuality and now that we actually got there it’s important that we commemorate that achievement and celebrate what it has done for the LGBTI community," Ms Orr said.

"I think since the vote we have seen a much bigger celebration of that inclusiveness and that community and a much greater pride as what we stand for as an inclusive community."

The circle of love at the rainbow roundabout on Lonsdale Street during Saturday's Yes!Fest.

The circle of love at the rainbow roundabout on Lonsdale Street during Saturday's Yes!Fest.Credit:Elesa Kurtz

One of those at the festivities on Saturday was Canberra dad Daniel Little who brought his nine-year-old son Logan, he said he wanted to normalise different aspects of life for his son.

"Maybe it's corny to say but love is love," Mr Little said.

"It's happiness, why shouldn't that be celebrated?

"Kids don't have any bias built in, we teach them what they know. It's a purer way to see life."

Sue Webeck attended the party with her wife Sam Tyler, who married since the vote, and their two children. She echoed the message of the day, that while so much had been achieved there was still a long way to go.

Sam Tyler with Elliott, Mita and Sue Webeck.

Sam Tyler with Elliott, Mita and Sue Webeck.Credit:Elesa Kurtz

"We actually had the girls involved in the political debate and talked about how much damage the plebiscite could do to rainbow families," Ms Webeck said.

She said vitriol from strangers had ramped up during the plebiscite but that since the vote she had felt a change in attitudes.

"Just not having to justify the strength of my relationship with my wife," she said.

"A legitimacy has been placed on our relationship that doesn't have to be justified anymore."

Ms Orr said the government did not want to rest on it's laurels and would now focus on improving areas where discrimination still existed so Canberra remained a frontrunner as an inclusive community.

Elliot Williams is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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