The 3rd Kyushu Rainbow Pride

By Ioana and Pandakyushu-rainbow-pride-2016-img_0960

The 3rd edition of the annual Kyushu Rainbow Parade/Pride in Fukuoka took place on 6 November in Reisen Park. The event was launched in 2014 by students from University of Fukuoka. Local LGBTQ activist Masahisa Miura (MarriageRings 4 LGBT) has taken over the responsibility of running the Pride since 2015, officially changing its name to Kyushu Rainbow Pride.

Unlike previous years, the Pride event was extended to two days to include the very first Kyushu Queer Movie Festival on the day before the Parade. The event was organized by Rainbow Soup and was attended by around 40 people in Factory Unvelashu (Fukuoka). Four LGBTQ-related movies were screened, followed by a half-hour-long review and talk show. The Out in Japan project was also exhibited at the venue.

The largest LGBTQ event in Kyushu region, the Kyushu Pride continues to attract more and more participants year by year. According to the official statistics, over 6000 people came to the venue, and 450 people walked in the parade. In addition, over 20 LGBTQ-related organizations and LGBTQ-friendly companies sponsored and presented their booths at the venue, including Stonewall Japan.

In addition to our usual Stonewall Japan “line-up” (face-painting and the donation jar), Stonewall member Ashford Kerr came up with many cool new concepts and ideas for the booth, such as the Pride Banner, the Stonewall photo frame, the Genie bucket, musical chairs, etc., which brought a lot of energy to the booth.

Our booth welcomed many new friends as well as some old ones: Stonewall Japan Secretary Ioana from Nagoya, and Stonewall Kyushu South Block Leader George, as well as former Kyushu Block Leader Karmen came all the way from Kumamoto to show their support to the Pride. On top of that, many Stonewall members offered to volunteer at the booth. We are so grateful for everyone’s contribution and devotion!