MEMBERS of the Bendigo Equality Participation Inclusion and Celebration (B-EPIC) and Country Awareness Network (CAN) were part of the thousands of marchers who turned the streets of St Kilda all colours of the rainbow at the 18th Pride March yesterday.
Bendigo’s Jadyn Hoskin was participating in his third march, which celebrates the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (GLBTIQ) community.
He said it was an important day for him and his fellow members of the Bendigo-based support group for 16 to 25 year olds, B-EPIC.
“It’s important to be engaged with the GLBTIQ community, especially for people in my young person’s group,” the 24-year-old said.
“It enables us all to engage with the broader community so it’s really terrific and worthwhile for us.”
Mr Hoskin described the atmosphere as “huge” and said the numbers at the event were overwhelming.
“It’s very interesting coming from a small community then seeing a huge community of GLBTIQ and supporters here.
“There are so many people here.”
In a first, AFL players took part in the march, which was led by gay footballer Jason Ball and his Yarra Glen teammates.
Mr Hoskin said cracking this demographic would open up acceptance in some parts of the community.
“(The football community) hasn’t been the most accepting community but it is quickly starting to get better.
“Having acceptance in the AFL community and the sports community in general does really encourage the GLBTIQ community to be more engaged with the sports community.
“It’s quite important for that to happen.”