When a pandemic cancels pride: An exploration of how stakeholders respond to the cancellation of a rural Australian pride event

Cliff Lewis, Michael Mehmet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pride events challenge hegemonic notions of sexuality and gender within places they are held. This is particularly the case in rural communities that are perceived, rightly or wrongly, as prejudices towards individuals with a diverse sexuality or gender identity. However, while academic literature has extensively explored Pride events within an urban context, limited attention has been paid to the rural context, and still little to those in their infancy. This paper examines how stakeholders responded to the cancellation of a Pride event in the Australian rural township of Wagga Wagga due to COVID19. The pandemic, in this context, provided an opportunity to understand attitudes towards the event and its cancellation. Through this process, eight topics were identified as: council funding, cancellation as homophobic, last-minute cancellation, cancellation regretted, cancellation supported, organisers acknowledged, LGBTIQI+, and Pride event. Based on these findings, implications for the cancellation of social contentious events in response to such circumstances are identified. These implications suggest the need for a more considered approach to communicating about the cancellation to prevent allegations of prejudice and demonstrate the value of such events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-966
JournalEvent Management: an international journal
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 07 Dec 2021

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