Happy Mardi Gras


It’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras tonight. I won’t be there this time – I’ll be at Chillout in Daylesford tomorrow instead. Here’s a happy shout-out to all my friends in Sydney. Hope you have a fun, safe and spectacular night. Especially my special friends at Ethel Yarwood Enterprises, who are organising the Surry Hillsong float.

A quick look at the morning news coverage of the event:

  • The Sydney Morning Herald has a gallery of Mardi Gras photos from the last 30 years. Can’t help noticing the lack of images from the period 1979–1995, when the Herald’s treatment of the event was far less sympathetic than it is today.
  • The Australian has an interactive timeline of Mardi Gras history that is even more surprising given that paper’s historical attitude towards teh gays.
  • The SMH has a preview of the event with coverage of Surry Hillsong.
  • Former High Court Justice Michael Kirby has an op-ed piece in the Sydney Daily Telegraph about why Mardi Gras is important, even if you find the bare bottoms and breasts a bit much, as Kirby plainly does. The Terror manages to misspell ‘Mardi Gras’ in the headline.
  • The Sydney Star Observer has lots of coverage, including an article about the decision by queer arab group Beit el Hob not to participate in protest at the event’s theme (“Nations United”) and the nationalistic overtones that creates.

And a few selections from the blogosphere:

  • ‘Therin of Andor’ won’t be going to the parade because he was hit in the head with a dollar coin at a previous event.
  • Leigh stark bemoans the fact that Sydney’s public transport system is incapable of handling the Mardi Gras.
  • Anthony Bosco has a message to GLBT people: “if you want to be accepted as “normal” – then maybe you should stop acting like a freak.”
  • Hiraku asks, given that Australia has such a big gay and lesbian festival, how come we don’t have more out queer celebs?
  • In a moving post, Ben Gresham (a survivor of ‘ex-gay therapy’ and a member of the Pentecostal church) explains why he is marching.
  • ‘PoisonedHappiness’ is anguishing about having to attend the parade with some straight friends who he doesn’t think will be sympathetic to the event. And they don’t know he’s gay.

CC-licensed image above: ‘Mardi Gras‘ by alexanderino.

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