There's a "beautiful ripple effect" being created in Wellington for this year's Pride Festival, says chair Vivian Lyngdoh.
As a queer person of colour, Vivian had often watched Pride celebrations and not seen themself represented in the community.
"I don't see much of myself or much of our people, who are brown, who are indigenous, or who are marginalised in the queer community."
A new event for the pride festival, Saturday's opening gala He Tangata, was a celebration of the cross-section between queer and indigenous culture – recreating the lives of takatāpui through dance.
Lyngdoh said their experience of the performance was humbling and liberating.
"Being in an audience full of majority queer people was one of the best experiences I've ever had, being held by so many people from our community was a sense of liberation and celebration."
"To centre our voices within the queer community and the Pride Festival was humbling."
Indigenous to Northeast India, Lyngdoh said they had long considered themself an "inherent activist".
"Being queer and indigenous in itself, and being brown, you're born with an inherent fight because you have to fight a system that's not as welcoming in many ways.
"In Aotearoa maybe it is, but if you look around the other 195 countries, queer people are oppressed, indigenous people are definitely oppressed.
"I think you become an inherent activist, the fight is built in you."
In their first year as chair of the Wellington Pride Festival, Lyngdoh had made the effort to not only uplift queer artists, but queer voices of colour.
"There's a few events that are centred in BIPOC experiences, particularly the play that's being produced by Chinwe Akomah," they said.
Chinwe Akomah, of Nigerian heritage, had produced a play called The Eternal Queers, showing on Tuesday March 23.
A second showing of the sold-out play would be held in Porirua on March 30.
"She decided to organise a play which is going to centre on four people of colour, icons and legends and activists who have paved the way for our liberation," Lyngdoh said.
"It's going to be centred on their voices and the whole cast and crew is queer people of colour, which is amazing."
Lyngdoh would also be part of a panel discussion on March 22 called Let Me Speak, which centred queer voices from refugee, asylum and new ethnic migrant backgrounds.
They hoped their first year as chair would encourage more queer performers of colour to speak up.
"For the first year I realised there had to be a lot of trust built with our marginalised community, particularly for queer people of colour, to trust that there is a committee thinking of them.
"To be queer and indigenous I just love what's happening at the moment – there's this influx of queer indigenous talent coming through.
"This beautiful ripple effect, or a murmur that's being created in Wellington which is hopefully coming into its full fruition.
"All I've got to say is watch this space – there's going to be more art and discussion created, it's going to be phenomenal."