ASK A GAY to plan a party and you can bet it's going to be colourful.
Tamworth's Pride Fair was no exception.
For the first time in the city's history, the LGBTQI+ community turned Bicentennial Park into a microcosm of modern Australian acceptance.
There were gays, lesbians, transgender people, drag queens, straight people and pooches set to the backdrop of Cher and plenty of rainbows.
As a gay man, it was important to organiser Brad Smith that the community be visible and heard.
"There's nothing in Tamworth to say that we're accepting of it, we are here and we are a support network if you need it," he said.
"It's nothing to be ashamed of.
"In a smaller city where everybody knows everybody there's always that harder step to get out of the closet or become involved and events like this you don't have to put yourself completely out there - but you can dip your toe in the water and see the amount of support that is out there."
More than a thousand people went to the fair on Sunday.
There was plenty to do with the first 'gaymes' being won by Tamworth Fire and Rescue and drag performances taking to the stage throughout the day.
Later on pups and their people strutted their stuff in the doggy parade, stopped for a bite to eat or listened to the live music.
It was also an opportunity for LGBTQI+ people to connect with health and support services.
LGBTQI+ health promotion organisation Acon took the time to talk to non-heterosexual people about their sexual and mental health.
Most of the health disparities for people in the community are linked to discrimination and stigma, which is why pride days are so important, Acon community health promoter Samara Shehata said.
"We have higher rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues," she said.
"That comes from heteronormativity, anything that's not cisgender seems to fall into 'otherness'.
"It's so meaningful.
"Services have to be inclusive because we're here - having two boxes for male or female and assuming everyone is heterosexual is not good enough anymore.
"We want to be visible."
Given the success, organisers plan to host another pride fair next year.