Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

LGBTQ march in Tauranga to honour Orlando victims

1 comment

It may be half a world away but members of Tauranga's LGBTQ community are doing what they can to show support for those killed and injured in the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

Katikati College head boy Ethan Morse said news of the shooting on Sunday (NZT) night "absolutely" had an impact on him and inspired him to organise a Pride March to be held on The Strand in Tauranga on Saturday.

Forty-nine people were left dead and another 53 injured after 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse Nightclub, a gay club in Orlando, Florida. He was then killed in a shoot-out with police.

Read more: Kiwi artist painting Steven Adams mural in Oklahoma City

The 17-year-old said he had been considering doing something to raise the profile of the LGBTQ community in the area and the tragedy sparked the idea for the march and spurred him to action.

STANDING UP: Ethan Morse has organised a Pride March in Tauranga to show support for the victims and families of those caught up in the Orlando shooting.PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK
STANDING UP: Ethan Morse has organised a Pride March in Tauranga to show support for the victims and families of those caught up in the Orlando shooting.PHOTO/GEORGE NOVAK

"It's to show respect and solidarity for those who passed," he said.

"To think about something that heinous, that sort of hate crime, that it can happen in today's society. Those people were in a sanctuary where they felt safe and could be who they wanted to be."

On his Facebook page Ethan wrote: "Enough is enough. I am leading a pride march in the streets of Tauranga. I will be marching down the Strand come rain or shine. Whether by myself or with friends. Feel free to join me as an ally, as a supporter, as a friend. Spread the word and show solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community."

Read more: Council struggles to locate Bay dumpers

He said he hoped the march would help spread "kindness rather than hate" and would also raise awareness and tolerance of the LGBTQ community in the Bay.

The support and interest in the event had already been "amazing", he said. On Facebook already 36 people had confirmed they were going and 120 had said they were interested in the event.

The group would march from Red Square to the other end of The Strand and back where there would be an opportunity for a discussion. People are encouraged to bring rainbow flags or clothing.

Where: Meet at Red Square to march down the Strand
When: Saturday at noon
Bring: Rainbow flags or clothing

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 29 May 2017 20:54:06 Processing Time: 799ms