First Christchurch Pride after 2011 earthquake

Pride organizer admits LGBT community has diminished since February 2011’s earthquake

First Christchurch Pride after 2011 earthquake
12 November 2012

Three weeks of celebrating LGBT pride started on Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand, the first Christchurch Pride since the earthquake that seriously damaged the city 20 months ago.

Christchurch Pride organiser Anne Nicholson said the LGBT community had significantly decreased since the earthquake as people have moved away.

Several people told that the exodus was due to the loss of gay-friendly venues in the city since the earthquake, which killed 185 people and destroyed hundred of buildings.

Christchurch’s one gay club Cruz on Lichfield Street was flattened by the building next door collapsing onto it. Thankfully the club was closed at the time and nobody was hurt.

Cruz reopened in a much smaller space on the corner of Peterborough and Victoria Streets. The owners admitted ‘the new club is nowhere near big enough to meet all the needs of our customers’ but promised ‘we are working as fast as we can to restore normality to the city’s gay entertainment scene’.

Christchurch Pride opened on Friday with a family-friendly fair and a masquerade party and will include a hike, mountain-biking, HIV workshop, bingo game, rock climbing, ‘bears’ drinks, movie night, talks, gender diversity dinner, quiz night and art exhibition.

‘Pride12 is a chance for the community to have a break and enjoy themselves after the trying times over the last year and a half, which have left many of us anxious and under pressure,’ said the organizers.

‘It’s also a chance for the queer community to reconnect with one another. The quakes fractured the Christchurch community and the queer community along with it. They took away so much of our infrastructure, the places we went and the activities we did to connect with each other. We hope Pride12 will be a big step towards rebuilding that.’

Watch a trailer for documentary Men Like Us about gay men in New Zealand, being shown on Friday 16 November during Christchurch Pride:



No thumbnail available

Hong Kong to debate recognition of 'non-operative' transgender people

If passed, a new bill would enshrine in law a pre-existing government policy that transgender people must undergo full gender reassignment surgery to change their legal gender
No thumbnail available

One in eight new marriages in Scotland are same-sex

Statistics from the National Records of Scotland show high demand for same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

From Ellen to Ricky Martin, LGBT celebs pay tribute to Nelson Mandela on Twitter

Maria Bello, Adam Lambert, John Barrowman and others also remember the civil rights icon
No thumbnail available

Russians beat up Dutch diplomat in his home, scrawl ‘LGBT’ in lipstick

Tensions are rising between the Netherlands and Russia after attacks, protests and the first arrests of foreigners under the 'gay propaganda' laws
No thumbnail available

UKIP politician: Gay marriage cannot exist in a ‘truly free society’

David McNally, the only UKIP representative in Stormont, has described the proposal to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland as an 'unacceptable intrusion by the state'
No thumbnail available

My five step plan for coping with a mid-life crisis

Is 40 the new 30? No - it’s still mid-life crisis territory. Here’s how to cope
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

ErdoÄŸan shown to have rooted for LGBT rights

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan has been taped supporting LGBT rights in the past, but his ruling party is now against recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity
No thumbnail available

Australia elects first gay state leader

Andrew Barr says he will campaign to marry his partner of 15 years
No thumbnail available

Ukraine lawmakers demand ban on Kiev gay pride

62 Ukrainian parliamentarians signed a petition demanded from Kiev's mayor to ban a planned gay pride parade later this month