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!

DNA Magazine - - NEWS - Found­ing Edi­tor, An­drew Creagh

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.

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