Barkly Street in Footscray was turned into a sea of rainbows on Saturday as 400 community members took to the streets for the inaugural Footscray Pride March.
The march was organised by Bulldog Pride, the LGBTIQA+ coterie group for the Western Bulldogs Football Club, to mark the third AFLW Pride Match at Whitten Oval. Marchers walked almost the length of Footscray from the Nicholson Street Mall to the Whitten Oval, led by the Dykes on Bikes and Bulldog Pride members.
The march was joined by local bars, Councillors from Maribyrnong Council, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and local football clubs. Drag Performers representing the Pride of Our Footscray Community Bar dotted the march, proving an entertaining sight for bystanders. The march was welcomed into the Whitten Oval by a snuff puppet from the Footscray Drill Hall waving a rainbow flag.
Overall the reception from the Footscray community was overwhelmingly positive, with many securing outdoor seats in the local pubs to cheer on the march as it moved down Barkly Street. People in their cars seemed largely unbothered by the traffic delay, with many joining in the fun by honking their horns in time with the Bulldogs chants from the crowd. Given the success of the event, the organisers have expressed a desire to run another march to mark the Pride Match again next year.
Quotes attributable to Bulldog Pride President, Amy Fabry-Jenkins:
“This is the first time we’ve ever done this and I never dreamed we would get such a positive response. My heart is full and I think many LGBTIQ westsiders feel the same.”
“Today I’ve met queer people seeking asylum and trans teenagers at their first ever Pride March, this has been a truly special day for our community”
Quotes attributable to Bulldog Pride Treasurer, Wil Stracke:
“When I moved to the inner-west twenty-five years ago, I could have never imagined that one day we would take over the streets for a Pride March. The idea of a Pride March in Footscray sounded terrifying to me at first, and today shows how far we’ve come.”
Media Contact: Amy Fabry-Jenkins, 0424 698 694, firstname.lastname@example.org