Home > Uncategorized > The Age – "Nixon gets pride of place in gay parade" by Dewi Cooke

The Age – "Nixon gets pride of place in gay parade" by Dewi Cooke

Three Cheers for Christine Nixon, the out going Chief Commissioner of Police in Victoria.  She received an amazing response from all the GLBTI people at yesterdays Pride March.

IT WOULD have had to be one of the more unusual moments in Christine Nixon’s career, to hear thousands of strangers cheering her name, showering her with applause and trilling her every step with whistles.

The sounds of Victoria Police’s bagpipe band twigged them to her presence first, and when the crowds of people lining St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street and standing high on hotel balconies finally spotted her, the roar went up. Ms Nixon, it seems, is even more popular at Pride March than the Dykes on Bikes.

It was the second and final time Ms Nixon would lead a contingent of uniformed officers in the march, which is now in its 14th year and celebrates Victoria’s gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex community.

The first time she marched, in 2002, it drew controversy. This time, it was celebrated.

“Christine doing the things that she’s done, particularly marching in 2002 quite against her critics, does a hell of a lot to change attitudes and to help people understand that the gay community is simply part of our community,” Pride March Victoria president Brett Hayhoe said.

At the end of the march, Ms Nixon briefly addressed the crowd in the Catani Gardens, to cries of “I love you Christine!” and endless applause.

“This is a wonderful occasion. You are wonderful people. I can’t thank you enough for the kindness and support you’ve given me — unquestioningly you’ve been there and you’ve supported me and it’s a great pleasure to be here as part of this community,” she said.

About 30 officers, who marched with her, smiled as her words were drowned out by the cheers — and as she came out for a second appearance, by popular demand.

Friends Zoe Kneebone, Liana Sliwczynski and Chris Steck were among those who crowded the chief commissioner after she left the stage, taking photographs, getting autographs and, for one exuberant fan, stealing a kiss on the cheek.

“One guy who got in before me said, ‘Thanks for making the force more accessible’ — and she’s done that, not just for the gay community but the wider community as well,” Ms Kneebone said.

About 100 groups took part in the march, with an estimated 4000 people participating. Also marching yesterday were Attorney-General Rob Hulls, Housing Minister Richard Wynne and Health Minister Daniel Andrews.

[Link: Original Article]

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