Brisbane City Council is under pressure to axe funding for the city’s largest gay and lesbian festival after receiving hundreds of signatures on an online petition.
Brisbane Pride Festival president Deeje Hancock said there would be detrimental effects on some festival-goers should the petition be successful.
“If the petition were successful then this festival would go ahead regardless, however I would have concerns for the mental wellness of some members of our community who once again were made to feel like they were second class citizens on the basis of their sexuality – something none of us have a say in,” he said.
“We would respectfully invite the petitioner, and others like him to attend the fair day and experience it first hand.
“Come out from behind your keyboard, engage with the community you wish to discriminate against, face them, learn about them, educate yourself about the traumas and problems facing our LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning) members and then make a decision.”
Open Doors Youth Service coordinator Rocky Malone said the festival is an important event for LGBTIQ community.
“LGBTIQ people are often isolated and disconnected from any sense of community and sometimes families, especially LGBTIQ youth, which is why it is important for the community to hold this Pride Festival,” she said.
“I would have hoped that the person who formed the petition consulted and researched issues that the LGBTIQ community face daily and the importance of the event.
“I hope that all the LGBTIQ and non-LGBTIQ community organisations that support this event and the LGBTIQ community will continue the fight for equality for all.”
Councillor Vicki Howard (Central Ward) said there is a strong sense of community support for the festival.
“Residents are entitled to their views, and the vast majority of feedback expressed to my Ward office has been of great support for this festival,” she said.