MARDI GRAS

FORTY YEARS OF FUN, FABULOUSNESS AND FIGHT­ING FOR OUR RIGHTS

DNA Magazine - - CONTENTS -

The world’s big­gest nigh­t­ime LGBTI Party is about to turn 40. We look at some high­lights.

IN 2018, SYD­NEY’S ICONIC CEL­E­BRA­TION OF LGBTQI RIGHTS, CUL­TURE AND HIS­TORY MARKS A MA­JOR BIRTHDAY: 40 YEARS! THE BRAVE ’78ERS

Mardi Gras was Syd­ney’s con­tri­bu­tion to the in­ter­na­tional Gay Sol­i­dar­ity Cel­e­bra­tions, an event that grew out of the Stonewall riots in New York. It was also in­tended to protest the Aus­tralian visit of ho­mo­pho­bic Fes­ti­val Of Light cam­paigner, Mary White­house. The first Mardi Gras march ended in vi­o­lence but the po­lice crack­down fired up a com­mu­nity who would no longer be silent. The pop­u­lar chants were: “Out of the bars and into the streets!” and “Stop po­lice at­tacks on gays, women and blacks!” The first march was in 1978, hence the name given to those who were there – the ’78ers.

In 2014, sol­i­dar­ity with our LGBTQI friends in Rus­sia was a re­cur­ring theme, be­gin­ning with tens of thou­sands of peo­ple join­ing hands at Fair Day, and end­ing with Pa­rade floats Putin On The Ritz, To Rus­sia With Love and Putin The Heart­less fea­tur­ing a gi­ant Putin pup­pet.

By 1981 the Pa­rade neared 5,000. The move to a warmer month, along with the creation of an in­de­pen­dent and elected or­gan­is­ing body were land­mark changes that shaped the Mardi Gras Pa­rade and Fes­ti­val as we know it to­day.

In what has be­come a much-loved tra­di­tion, the Dykes On Bikes open the Pa­rade with their unique brand of awe­some­ness.

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