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Big Gay Out live reports!

Sun 8 Feb 2015 In: Events View at Wayback View at NDHA

7.30PM: And that's a wrap! On to K' Rd, Ponsonby Rd or bed! Family is hosting an after party with shows from 9PM. See you all at the rest of Auckland Pride Festival! 6PM: The crowd is starting to thin as people head home after a long day. There will be some sore heads tomorrow! But not as many sunburnt faces as usual. 5.45PM:Auckland mayor Len Brown has been on the stage, somewhat overpowered by Miss Ribena. But she took him to task about a decision by the bureaucrats of the council, which massively funds the Pride Festival, not to allow confetti on the Pride Parade. Brown says he will see what can be done. Other than that nothing much said by the mayor. Meanwhile, the unsteady boozed up guy clinging to a tree is being helped across the grass by a few friendly DLO (diversity liaison officer) cops. Folks saying they've had a good time but that last year was better... but then don't we hear that every year? So many people are wearing #lovetourge shirts! A steady stream of people now leaving Coyle Park, some to freshen up before hitting the venues including the after-match party at Family tonight. 5.30PM: A long music set from the Williams Family is proving popular... lots of folk up dancing but a few people already heading home. Mayor Len Brown expected on stage soon. As the crowd thins just a little the more booze-addled are easier to pick out, including one chap who is standing vertically only with the support of a large tree. It wouldn't be a real BGO without a few hunks getting their kit off on stage! 5.00PM: Legend King Kapisi has been wowing them on stage, DJing for the Williams family clan Miss Ribena interviews King Kapisi 4.55PM: Wiremu Demchick gathering signatures Wiremu Demchick, who has been gathering signatures for his petition to have gay men with criminal convictions for homosexual activity dating from before Homosexual Law reform wiped says he has had a great response to his petition today. He will also be at Out in the Park in Wellington next Saturday. 4.40PM: Labour leader Andrew Little has confirmed to us that this is his first Big Gay Out. “But I lived in Auckland twenty years ago and I remember going to the Hero parade and that was pretty full on. This is great!” He says the positive response he received on stage was good to hear. “I think there are some issues here that the gay community needs to be aware of, this whole thing with the Human Rights Commission [which is having its funding cut by the current government] is to the fore. If there's one thing a government should be doing it's pushing back on prejudice so we need a body like that there. There is a place for everybody in our New Zealand community. On bringing his Drag Kings twin sister, Val, on stage, Little described the opportunity as “special.” 4.30PM: Forgot to highlight that Andrew Little introduced his twin sister to the crowd as Val Little of Wellington's Drag Kings. Now, not many people knew that! Ben and Tombi 4.15PM: After all the noise and fuss of the political speechifying dancer Chris Olwage has the crowd in awed silence as he performs his Black Swan routine. Gracious Buckwheat is making way for gaudy Miss Ribena as MC so things are about to get waaaaay louder! 3.58PM: Tweet of day so far: Daniel (@danny_ill) tweeted at 3:13 PM on Sun, Feb 08, 2015: #biggayout etiquette, standing on someone else's woven mat is a crime punishable by sass 3.55PM: Andrew Little has received a resoundingly positive reception with cheers and whistles as he took the BGO stage. He said: "I want to acknowledge my twin sister Val Little, who's part of a group called the Drag Kings in Wellington. On behalf of the Labour party thank you very much for having us here. We've always been big supporters of the cause behind the AIDS Foundation and the work they do which is about giving pride and confidence to all folks... because the work they do right throughout the gay community is about making sure that we respect diversity, are tolerant of each other... because that's good for individuals, communities and the nation. "I want to leave you with a challenge that we've all got: We have led the world when it comes to pushing back the tide of prejudice and discrimination and intolerance. And one of the most important organisations we have to do that is our Human Rights Commission and they've been fantastic fighters. And no matter what anyone says we have a long ways to go... our young people are still struggling as they explore their identity, their sexuality. The government has taken money off the Human Rights Commission, they want to reduce the number of commissioners. If we want a Human Rights Commission that continues to push back the tide of prejudice and discrimination it needs to be well supported. So my plea to you is this: When you get the opportunity tell your MP and this government that we want a Human Rights Commission that's going to work, that's going to be good for your community, for all of us so we can have a healthy, vibrant, diverse and tolerant society. We deserve nothing less. Have a great day!" 3.40PM: The location of the portaloos, at the most eastern end of the BGO site, as far away as it is possible to get from the main stage, hospitality and bar areas is not going down well with some punters. 3.30PM: National's Central Auckland MP Nikki Kaye has spoken to about the booing directed at her boss John Key. "How I gauge it is that when we walk around people come up to us all the time and say they're 'really glad that you're here'," she says. "They want to speak to the Prime Minister, they want to speak to me about the issues, so we don't worry about a few people booing... we're going to keep coming back." Really sharp hip hop dance crew the Kweenz are doing a mind-blowing dance on stage... a very talented and inclusive group. 3.10PM: The main part of John Key's speech: "I have two really important messages for the gay community. The first one is: make sure you play safe because that is critically important. And the second thing is to make sure that as part of your general health measures you get tested regularly. It's hugely important and is going to keep the community in totality safe. Years ago when I first came here the National Party didn't get a terribly good reception but guess what? I voted for gay marriage so there you go!" It's estimated that there are 12,000 - 15,000 people now on the grounds of the Big Gay Out. Lesbian legend Miriam Saphira is part of the fun BGO crowd. 2.55pm: John Key appears fairly blase about having been roundly booed by a section of the main stage crowd. Currently he is swamped by people wanting their photo taken with him and has been only able to move around ten metres from the stage steps. One of those who booed the PM says he did so because "I just don't like him, eh! he isn't doing much to help our whanau" Another says "He is just trying to use us for votes." Another crowd member says the booing was "a bit rude actually." 2.45PM: John Key has been resoundingly booed as he took the main BGO stage. The booing, from a significant proportion of the crowd seated at the front of the main stage audience, started as soon as he took the stage. He spoke very briefly saying it is nice to be here and reminding the glbti people present that he voted for same-sex marriage legalisation. This is the strongest anti-Key reaction in all the years he has been attending the Big Gay Out. Mika wows them on stage 2.40PM: Prime Minister John Key and his entourage, followers and media pack have entered the BGO grounds. Mika and his own entourage have taken the stage and launched a new collaborative album to raise funds for The Aroha Project. Songs For Aroha is available from iTunes today. “The excitement of making music for a cause has seen this collaboration that will hit airwaves as part of The Aroha Project this summer,” Mika says. “We can all change, grow and gain strength and learn through the infinity we as people have with music, Songs for Aroha is inspired from life's journeys about love.” Mika has the crowd eating out of his hand and for the first time this afternoon they're up and dancing. It's still overcast but Buffy and Bimbo brightened things up with a brand new routine. The Greens crew 2.20PM: Referring to his speech at last year's BGO when his comments resulted in pre-election threats of legal action from Conservative party leader Colin Craig, Russel Norman says he will try to behave himself today. “It's great to be at a celebration of freedom and courage because today is a celebration of all the people who have stood up over many, many years over decades to protect their rights. The Green party is very proud to have been part of achieving those freedoms. But there is much more to be done, not only in terms of lgbti issues but in terms of so many other freedoms. The Green party stands up in Parliament for freedom. This is a great celebration so have a great day!" 2.05PM: A gorgeous male Indian couple who are marrying in New Zealand have been introduced to the crowd. They've come to this country especially to get legally hitched and will take the plunge tomorrow. They've been mercilessly grilled by current comperes Buffy and Bimbo who presented the pair with LYC Undies as wedding gift. A light shower of rain has wafted across Coyle Park but no-one cared. Greens ex-leader Russel Norman has spoken, we'll bring you details of his speech shortly. The crowd in front of the main stage 1.30PM: Although it's still overcast the day is warm and a touch sultry. The area in front of the main stage is filling up and the crowd has been enjoying a Ramon Te Wake acoustic set. There are plenty of groups of friends and families picnicking and beers being swilled. Green MPs including Jan Logie have been spotted. staff - 8th February 2015

Credit: staff

First published: Sunday, 8th February 2015 - 2:01pm

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