Rainbow of diversity at Big Gay Out

By Talisa Kupenga

Rainbow flags and flamboyant personalities were all on show for today's Ending HIV Big Gay Out, with the patchy weather failing to deter thousands of people keen on attending Auckland Pride Festival's flagship event.

A rainbow gathering of diversity was a key feature at this year's Ending HIV Big Gay Out.

Attendee Britney Johnston says, "Everyone here is not the same everyone is different and they all accept everyone else that's here."

Jen Mariu says happiness was a key feature, “It's all bright and glittery and everyone is in such a good mood.”

To further spread the positive vibes, free dance parties, entertainment and make-overs were available for all.

Drag Ambassadoress Tess-Tickle told Te Kāea, "Anyone can come through here and get their makeup done get some glitter. Then we've got a little accessory area on the side and they can put some costumes on like me and then get their photo taken in the self-check-out New World mirror."

More than 10,000 people were expected at the event; which is part of Auckland Pride Festival, the biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex, queer and asexual community celebration in the country.

"It's just an open window to come and see the community and learn about issues that are happening in the community in a really fun way.”

First time attendee Jessica Morley says,  "It's good as a community to come together and they can show each other the different orientations and say it's ok to be who they are and be who they want to be."

The Auckland Pride Festival runs through to February 26.