By Mabel Muller - firstname.lastname@example.org
The rainbow community in Wellington is gearing up to be a part of the capital's Pasifika Festival, for the first time.
Pride Parade in Auckland 2017. Photo/ PRN.
Leilani Sio got the idea rolling with an online boosted campaign to help fund their involvement in next month's festival, receiving just over $2500 from donors, including Green MP Jan Logie.
Sio says the Pacific rainbow community has been absent in the big Pacific festivals for too long.
"I just had the idea that I think it would be important to actually participate in a Pasifika festival. They've been happening for more than two decades around Aotearoa and one thing that stuck out was the lack of representation as far as Rainbow Pasifika goes."
Sio believes it's the very first time the Pacific Rainbow community will be present at a Pacific festival.
She says it's of huge importance because they have a place in the universe and it's time to make it visible.
"I don't see any of the fa'afafine community in any of the Pacific festivals that have been held. We have every right to have a space there beside everyone because it validates our youth."
"It sends a clear message that we exist and that we belong."
Leilani Sio (right). Photo/ Supplied.
The Wellington Pasifika Festival will be held on January 20, 2018.