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11.15am: Stage set for day of lgbti fun

Sun 8 Feb 2015 In: New Zealand Daily News

11.15am: Auckland's Coyle Park is dressed in rainbows and ready for the Big Gay Out. It’s overcast but fine at the Pt Chevalier park this morning. Joe Rich of Love Your Condom says the cloud is forecast to burn off by about midday. “It’s a perfect day for setting up and I am looking forward to a fine day.” Sound tests have been carried out on the main stage and most of the stalls are ready, with a few final touches going on. There are signs out for mussel fritters and all sorts of other treats. The Urge and Caluzzi Beer Garden and GABA and New Zealand AIDS Foundation hospitality tent are ready to go, and there are rainbow flags everywhere. The Body Positive Chill tent HIV+ support and advocacy group Body Positive have a major presence this year, with a red ribbon branded tent they are running in conjunction with Cartier Trust and Positive Women, situated right opposite the Big Gay Out main stage. They are providing a respite area for people with HIV. Body Positive General Manager Mark Fisher says it’s also an attempt to start bringing HIV “out of the closet and into our community”. He says people with HIV are welcome, along with anyone else who wants to pop in and have a chat. The Auckland Harbour Bridge can be seen in the distance from Coyle Park, but the flags aloft it are unfortunately not rainbow. When asked whether it could happen a New Zealand AIDS foundation spokesperson laughed “maybe next year!” The Big Gay Out begins at midday.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 8th February 2015 - 11:02am

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