Here’s Ya Glitter-Filled Rundown Of Sydney’s Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2017

As now, as always: fuck yeah, Mardi Gras!

Once again, the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras has injected the city – nah, stuff it, the nation – with a bumper dose of pride and positivity for every aspect of the LGBTQIA+ community. Float after float reflected a different aspect of that incredible spectrum, and friends, the parade’s 39th outing was as bloody fab as any to precede it. 

Early up were the 78ers, comprising members of the inaugural march in 1978. It makes sense to give ’em pride of place, considering the massive legal and cultural persecution they had to overcome. Thanks, gang.

Shortly after came ANZ, whose float was an extension of their genuinely sweet Hold Tight campaign. Not bad for a corporate monolith.

The Sydney Stingers water polo club rolled through with some of the most objectively impressive rigs you’re liable to see at the Mardi Gras, or otherwise. The inclusive team was joined by the Brisbane Barracudas, too. 

Special mention goes to the Mature Age Gays (MAG), a not-for-profit social group for older gay and bi men. MAG boasts that some of its most esteemed members are over 90 years old. Diversity doesn’t diminish with age, folks.
via SBS.

DIY Rainbow’s George Michael tribute float was, obviously, one of the highlights of the eve. There’s quite simply no better place to recognise the fearless artistry and pride of Michael than at Mardi Gras – well, maybe a wall in St Peters is a close second – and the crowd ab-so-lutely recognised that fact. R.I.P, you ledge. 

via SBS.

The LGBTQIA+ community wasn’t going to let Bill Leak’s vile garbage diminish their spirit, either. In response to that horrendous cartoon which compared same-sex marriage advocates to Nazi forces, The Force Of Love decided to co-opt that imagery for itself. Fuckin’ oath.

via SBS.

via SBS.

For the first time, members of the Tiwi Islands’ transgender community were represented at the Mardi Gras. The Sistagirls marched in front of Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council, going a huge way representing far-flung Aussie queer communities.

Then, in quick succession: the chain-clad Sydney Leather Pride Association, the Liberal Friends Of The LGBTI Community, and the bagpipe-blaring Scotsboyz. Watching representatives of Australia’s premiere conservative party follow-up that kinky crew – to a traditional pipe-band soundtrack – was something to bloody behold.

While Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull avoided the parade due to, uh, having other things to do (and being disinvited by the organising committee itself), Rainbow Labor marched, and were accompanied by leader Bill Shorten and second-in-command Tanya Plibersek. 


Canada, of all places, also had official representation at the parade. The Consulate General of Canada stumped up a contingent; if they can give us hockey, poutine and k.d. lang,, we can probably let ’em into our parades, eh?

Sydney’s trans community was also represented by the aptly-titled Trans Sydney Pride. Their message was simple, just “to say we are here: that the trans community is strong, diverse and beautiful.”

The final float – number 183! – was, of course, The Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras’ own. Displaying the theme ‘A Fabulous Future’, it was hard not to apply that concept to the present. 
via SBS.
Aussie members of the LGBTQIA+ community still face oh so many discriminatory practices in day-to-day life, but watching the nation’s largest city cherish the hell out of its queer contingent remains seriously inspiring.

Until next time, friends.

Source: SameSame / SBS.
Photo: Brook Mitchell / Getty.