Mardi Gras Launch

Crowd watching Mardi Gras 2008 Launch

Sydney’s Gay & Lesbian tourist season has officially popped. The Launch is moved from Moore Park to The Supper Club, Oxford Street because of the wet weather. Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras turns 30 this year. It has been a significant ride for the community since the first Stonewall riots commemoration on 24 June 1978 in Sydney. Now it becomes one of the city’s major carnivals and draws people from around the world to see freaks. “Brave New World” is this year concept. It sounds pretty, eh?

Ron Austin giving an interview to a press while a drag queen posing for cameras

The hi-light for me would be Ron Austin, who was in the very first marching for homosexuality rights in Australia. It was not easy to be a queer back then. It was wrong, sick, immoral and illegal. Today, it does not seem to matter any more, in modern first worlds at least, whether who you are: straight, gay, lesbian, Asian, Black, White, Hispanic or Irish. Nonetheless, the world is full of differences, still. Can we harmoniously live with each other or just put up with it? Have we forgotten or taken everything for granted? Asking too many questions in the celebration is unhealthy, just dance on it and those problems will go away. “Brave new world”, indeed.

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