The Challenge For Pride



Pride WA has announced that they are unsure of their financial status and have ceased operations while they take stock of where they are. The organisation will have an AGM later this month where finances will be discussed; the future will be pondered and if the organisation continues, new committee members will be selected.

This is nothing new. Pride WA has been here before, several times in fact. The challenges facing Pride are the same as those faced by all not for profit volunteer based organisations. People just don’t volunteer as much as they did in the past. When we do, it’s often for self promotional purposes, rather than the greater good.

In 2013 though, I have to ask, what is the greater good the organisation creates? Does it raise money to tackle homelessness? Does it create grants to help disadvantaged LBGT people improve their education? Does it undertake political lobbying making submissions to inquiries? None of these things are achievable by Pride in its current state.

The one area Pride is successful at is creating opportunities for LGBT people to come together, but this too is faltering. Young people in our community increasingly see Fairday and the Pride Parade as a ‘rite of passage’. The 2012 Pride festival saw growth in regional activities and overall events, an honourable achievement. Although it’s yet to be seen what the financial cost was.

Other events though have slowly dwindled over the years, Fruits in Suits has gone, the Women’s Night has ever decreasing numbers, last years attempt at reviving a winter dance party was disastrous. Yet, does it have to be this way? Queensland has a thriving LGBT business association and Sydney’s Mardi Gras, Melbourne’s Mid-Summa and Adelaide’s Feast Festival are all successful.

If Pride is to succeed it needs a radical overhaul and a back to basics approach. It needs to return to being an organisation that holds events in order to raise money to make the world better, rather than an organisation struggling to raise money to hold events that we have come to expect.

Pride needs community members to stand up, pitch in, volunteer time, resources and energy. Not just the committee members, but the actual members of the organisation. And if you’re not a member of this organisation, ask yourself, why are you not contributing?

Pride WA’s AGM is scheduled for 7pm Tuesday February 26 at Loton Park.

Graeme Watson

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