I knew I always wanted to travel to Australia when I finished uni but the question was; where to base myself?
*flashback* In my final year of uni (2014) we had to prepare a presentation on an event of choice, that had to incorporate the use of a large poster. The majority of my class chose sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup or festivals like Glastonbury and T in the Park. If you’ve not met me, Hi I’m Lucy and I like to be different. So instead of choosing the ‘normal’ events, I chose one that immediately stood out to me and that was none other than The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras! Studying this event was an absolute pleasure. Once we had all our references and theories, the class then had to illustrate these on a poster. All of the class went down the route of a 2D poster with some pictures stuck on around their written points. As for me, well remember I said I like to be different? I only created a 3D poster with glitter, feathers and miniature floats representing the themes of the presentation! Here I am so bloody happy with my work:
*Back to present* Saturday 4th of March, it was the day of the parade! Events had been going on all month but as I’m poor this was what I could afford to go to (it was free). Myself and my lovely friend from work got a bus near to the city and walked the rest of the way as this event had crowds/traffic left, right and centre.
That’s what I love about events; when it disrupts the normality of life. You know it’s special when you’re walking down the middle of a three lane road, surrounded by people dressed in rainbow colours, tutus, animal costumes or as their alter ego. You could feel liberation and anticipation in the air.
Rita and I were meant to meet Tash and Ben but as we got into the city we immediately saw the parade. So we just stayed put as we had a front row view and unfortunately didn’t meet Tash as it was impossible to get through the crowds.
Here’s a cheeky selfie of Rita and myself:
The night was unreal! I didn’t event notice that we stood for over 4 hours! The parade started with lesbians on motorbikes and then gay men had their turn. From that we were hooked, and were amazed at the costumes and floats on show. Here’s some pictures (I went a bit trigger happy):
However, what really touched me was the different groups showing their support that you wouldn’t expect I.e. The Catholic Church, rugby teams, police, army and farmers. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be supportive, I was just humbled by these old fashioned groups showing they’ve broadened their minds finally. The ages of the attendees were incredible; it ranged from little kids, no more than 8 years old, who were dressed up as unicorns and they sat in front of us in awe of the costumes. A ton of people came up to them and thanked them for coming, reinforcing equality for all. That sent a tear to my eye, but what going me fully blubbering were two gay men who were in their 90s holding hands in the back of a convertible, portraying their love for all to see.
The atmosphere of the evening, the people and the liberation in the air was nothing like I’ve ever felt. It was an amazing night that I’ll never forget. All this positivity and happiness was still overshadowed by one massive issue though; gay marriage is not legal here in Australia. I don’t understand how in 2017, people are being denied basic human rights and recognition.
I hope that in the very near future this will not be the case and I hope that Mardi Gras helps this to be!
Equality for all!