[WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR WHAT PRIDE MEANS TO ME]
Saturday was the annual Wellington Pride Festival - a day of colour, love and friendship.
While I missed the Parade itself, I hit up Waitangi Park to spend some time hanging with my good friend, Lucy Forrestal (aka The Fangirl Stories Blog). Lucy was already hanging out with cool kids Eli Matthewson and James Malcolm who kindly let me join their cohort. Despite the overcast weather, there was so much brightness and colour. The dog element of the event also was amazing (even one who could jump through a hoop!!)!
I had never been to Pride because I was under the misunderstanding it was a day which was exclusive for some people in the Wellington community who I don't identify with directly because I am not gay. However, Lucy steered me right. You really don't have to be gay to come and enjoy Pride. It is a day of simply being together and embracing who you are (and dogs, clearly). Even though she is 17, she's a far smarter cookie than me already.
I met Lucy through my first interviewee, Alice Brine. Lucy is a big fan of Alice's and Alice had suggested (after Lucy wrote a great review of her last show for a 6th form essay) she might like to get in touch to learn a thing or two about blogging. I agreed (at first somewhat reluctantly). Although Lucy was quite reserved the first time we met, she has somehow become my official blog assistant when I need a hand on the behind-the-scenes of The Residents. For example, last year I had a bit of a melt-down before I went to Thailand because I had so much prep to do to keep the blog running while I was away. Lucy stepped in and helped transcribe some interviews for me. She's also edited videos and been my sounding board for where I am going with this blog (it can be hard being a one-person-band)
I am so glad I went to Pride. I felt very much there for the right reasons and I couldn't imagine why I had ever doubted being welcome. It felt like really being at the heart of the people of the city and you could totally feel the love and acceptance everywhere.
On top of some excellent food and entertainment (some incredible hair and makeup in particular), I left having experienced why we need to sometimes stop overthinking things and just show up in life. It also made me feel very grateful to have a friend in my life like Lucy. Even though we are different, in age, sexual orientation and life experience, we care about the same things - creativity, passion, acceptance and having integrity. I made a little video to sum up what Pride means to me. You can watch it above or by clicking the link here. (Please give it a thumbs up to tell me you liked this video - I can make more similar ones if you did. Also please subscribe to my channel!! It would me so much to me.)
Thank you, Lucy, for being an awesome blog assistant. And thank you everyone who organised Wellington Pride Festival for putting on an amazing day.