Article Title:Big Gay Out: Live updates
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:10th February 2013 - 12:12 pm
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Story ID:12888
Text:6.15PM: Two deaf performers on the main stage have re-energised the crowd after the unfortunate performance by a rapper spouting sexually explicit lyrics and anti-gay epithets. The deaf duo presented an awesome performance piece. And in a signal that there is some bad feeling in the park uber-diva Cindy  of Samoa has just told the crowd that anyone who is anti-gay is in the wrong place and should leave. As the event draws to a close a large crowd of happy glbti folk and quite a few of their children are dancing to the final act, Kids of 88, who are proving very popular. 5.40PM: Rapper Pope Brons has taken the stage and his explicit sexual and gangsta-style lyrics including references to "20 bitches on my dick" and repeated use of the word "faggots" are not going down well. People are leaving the main stage area and those remaining through it are just looking around at each other disbelieving and concerned. Family groups in particular are not happy. 5.15PM: A helicopter swooping above the Big Gay Out is dropping hundreds of coloured balls courtesy of sponsor Durex. Those lucky enough to score a ball stand to win prizes. 5.00PM: Amongst a crowd which feels bigger than last year Rainbow Youth are busy with their new "So Fucking Proud" campaign. They're handing out stickers and taking photos of people with the campaign's slogan on it. The dance tent is wall to wall with people in exceptionally high spirits and its a sure thing there are going to be more than a few hangovers and sick days taken tomorrow. At the western end of the park quite a few people in the main stage area are also the worse for wear, with onlookers applauding in a good-natured manner as the drink-impaired trip over marquee guy ropes. PM John Key being haunted by 'gay red t-shirts' 4.10PM: Prime Minister John Key has taken the stage, accompanied by National MPs Nikki Kaye and Maggie Barry. After congratulating the gay community and the NZAF on the dropping HIV infection rate he reiterated his support for marriage equality. As he walks through the crowd a number of gay activists are wearing and displaying red shirts to draw attention to Key's anti-gay slurs uttered on radio late last year. 3.30PM: The volume has gone up a notch or five as Miss Ribena has taken over the MC duties. She has shared just how excited she is about next weekend’s pride parade – A LOT!!! And her energy is infectious with a real buzz whipping through the burgeoning crowd. 3:15PM: The Divas, an inclusive troupe from two Auckland high schools, have really pumped up the crowd with an action packed dance set. Beforehand one of its members offered a passionate Martin Luther King-inspired speech, saying she had a dream that one day couples of any gender would be able to walk down the street holding hands. 3.10PM:  “What a difference a year makes,” Green MP Kevin Hague has exclaimed at the Big Gay Out, remarking that this time last year there seemed to be no prospect of marriage equality. He expressed pride at being part of the campaign, which has seen Labour’s Louisa Wall’s bill sail through its first reading and through select committee hearings, on towards the second reading. It could be passed by the middle of the year. “We are on the verge of delivering a historically emphatic win,” he said. “We are entitled to absolute equality on our own terms without having to compromise who we are.” Earlier Greens leader Metiria Turei told the Big Gay Out crowd that she had been to a wedding before, where the minister stated that marriage was a sacred bond between a man and a woman. “Not for much bloody longer!” She shouted, “Not for much bloody longer!” 2.30PM: NZAF Boss Shaun Robinson has come to the rescue of the police who had hoped to distribute a questionnaire on violence against glbti people. The questionnaire comes on the heels of increasing levels of violence against gay men in particular in the K Rd area and may provide useful information for a community meeting to be held soon. After those running the Get It On Big Gay Out, which is organised for the NZAF, refused to allow the cops to pass out the questionnaire as they had not paid a fee to distribute material at the event, Robinson pulled rank to allow the officers, some of whom are gay or lesbian, go about their community-minded initiative.  2.15PM Coyle Park is really filling up, and Maree Sheehan, one of the headline acts, has got quite a crowd dancing. 2.10PM: Mr Gay NZ contestants have been on stage to answer questions and show their talents, even shooting prizes out of the Get It On! cannon. All three men offered anti-bullying pledges as their reasons for wanting the title. 1.45PM: Labour party leader David Shearer has trumpeted the work his party has done on marriage equality, telling the Big Gay Out “we believe it will be law by the middle of the year,” to welcoming cheers. Shearer paid tribute to the bill’s backer Louisa Wall, who was unable to be at the Big Gay Out, saying she has been pushing for the law gently and resolutely. He said the party has continued its tradition of progressing gay rights. Shearer’s openly-gay deputy Grant Robertson then added that this time next year when they take the stage we will have marriage equality. He said he was proud of Wall’s work and also proud of all those who made submissions in favour to the select committee. “We musn’t be complacent,” he warned. 1.30PM All-girl punk/metal band Melting Pot Massacre brought a raucous note to things even launching a metal cover of a Yeah Yeah Yeah's track. 1PM: Christchurch songstress Sharvelle has belted out covers including We Found Love and even managed to get some members of the rather sedate early crowd dancing. And the Cycle Pride Auckland team has arrived!!   12.45PM: Parking wardens are patrolling the streets around Coyle Park checking vehicles for warrants and registrations. There are no parks available closer than the Richmond shops, and side street parking is also chocka up to that point. Buses are runnning from outside Family on K' Rd for just $2 each way. However the Pt Chevalier Rugby Club is holding a sausage sizzle should you get hungry on the walk from your car! [L-R] Phil Chapman, Chris Olwage and Chris Meadows-Bonner 12.30PM: The three men fighting to be the next Mr GayNZ are shirtless and strutting their stuff at the Big Gay Out, with the winner to be announced tonight. Chris Meadows-Bonner, Chris Olwage and Phil Chapman are the three men hunting the title. They will take part in a charity challenge, a sport challenge, a GLBTI quiz and have individual interviews with the judges and appear on stage at the Big Gay Out today. From 7PM at Family on K’ Rd the final club wear, swimwear and formal wear rounds will held and the winner will be announced. MIDDAY: “It’s a day to stand up and be out and be proud,” New Zealand AIDS Foundation boss Shaun Robinson has told the crowd. “It’s a time to stand up and be proud and be proud, and remember guys if you get up, love your condom when you do it.” An official Maori welcome has been offered to open the day. Buffy and Bimbo are due on stage next! 11AM: The sun is coming out from behind the clouds as earlybirds begin setting up in the prime spots at Auckland’s Coyle Park for the Big Gay Out. The forecast is for sun and a high of 25 degrees for the annual celebration of GLBT-ness in Pt Chevalier. Groups of lesbians have nabbed spots for their gazebos around the main stage and are already settling in. The stalls are being set up and the park is a hive of activity ahead of the thousands expected to arrive across the afternoon. The entertainment gets underway with first-up hosts Buffy and Bimbo from midday, with one of the main acts Maree Sheehan on stage at 2PM. Jacqui Stanford - 10th February 2013    
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