FROM THE EDITOR
PRAISE THE GODDESS, WE WON THE RIGHT TO MARRY, WE CELEBRATED THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF MARDI GRAS, WE HONOURED OUR HEROES AND CHER STOPPED BY… GOOD TIMES!
What a difference a few months can make. It was just last November that the Australian LGBTIQ community was at a low ebb. Worn down by the unrelenting homophobia of the postal survey debate, many struggled. Even the most resilient and thick-skinned succumbed.
And then… the victory! The results came in and Australia had said, “Yes”. In December the Marriage Act was amended in Federal Parliament and the struggle – over a decade long for some at the coalface of activism – was done.
There were celebrations, of course, but I remember thinking at the time that Mardi Gras would be very special indeed in 2018. Not only would we be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the biggest LGBTIQ Parade And Party in the world, it would be a victory march for Marriage Equality. And then along came Cher, The Goddess Of Pop, the be-wigged, iconic cherry on top of an already delicious cake, and her performance at the Mardi Gras after-party exceeded all expectations.
Mardi Gras achieved something miraculous this year. It proved itself a truly unifying power. It brought together all the letters of the LGBTIQ and our straight friends and allies. The Parade was bright and brash, political and sexy, inclusive and accessible. The Party captured the rebellious, hedonistic spirit of years past. And everyone agreed it was a triumph – the usual chorus of post-event criticisms was, for once, silent.
The foul stench of the postal survey was blown away with a breath of sweet, fresh air. It feels like a new era for LGBTIQ Australians. Our civil rights are now better protected than ever before. We still have work to do, especially for our trans community, our older LGBTIQs and with our communities in other parts of the world. But for now, let’s celebrate!
Many are already taking advantage of the right to marry and tying the knot. In this issue, we celebrate some of the couples who’ve made the commitment. And, with our Equally Wed partners this month, make some suggestions about how to make your Big Day unique, meaningful and memorable.
On the Friday before Mardi Gras, I was lucky enough to attend the Australian LGBTI Awards at Star Casino. It was a swish, blacktie event and seamlessly produced, but its glitzy glamour also had heart. Some of the winners included Alan Joyce (Inspirational Role Model Of The Year), SBS (Brand Of The Year), Professor Kerryn Phelps (Hero), Magda Szubanski (LGBTIQ Celebrity), Conchita Wurst (International Icon), Alex Greenwich (Politician), Joel Creasey (Presenter), Casey Delacqua (Sportsperson), the Sydney Swans (Community Initiative) and the much-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award went to Peter De Waal, a 78er and brave pioneer of gay rights in Australia.
I hope you enjoy this issue of DNA. Celebrate your love. Celebrate your rights. And join us for the next chapter in the LGBTIQ story.
MAGDA SZUBANSKI AND JOEL CREASEY HOST MARDI GRAS FOR THE SBS BROADCAST.
PRIME MINISTER MALCOLM TURNBULL, CHER AND NSW PREMIER GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN IN THE MARDI GRAS PARADE.