Why I went to The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an annual LGBT pride parade and festival in Sydney, Australia. Thousands of people from all over Australia and the world visit to celebrate and support each other. 

Mardi Gras usually runs from mid-February to the first of March.

This year (2017) it was on between Friday 17th Feb to the Sunday 5th March 2017.

We went to Sydney on Saturday 4th for the parade.

We only had a short amount of time as we finished work early Friday, drove 8 hours from Moree, slept in the car that night, celebrated on Saturday then drove back on Sunday to get back to work for Monday. Phew!

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So why did we drive all the way to Sydney for a day if it’s a 16 hour car journey there and back?

First and most importantly my beautiful friend Ami was living in Sydney at the time. We met and worked together at Stanthorpe Salad and Herbs Farm last year. It was amazing to catch up with her and it turned out another friend, Sho who we also met and worked with on the same farm was in town!

Aside from it all being nicely and coincidentally lined up, I had been looking at Mardi Gras for the past year.
Now, protests and parades are not typically my thing, but that’s not to say I haven’t been involved or part of a few. The festival type atmosphere and sense of togetherness really lures you in an some topics just can’t be ignored.  If it’s something you have an opinion on and feel very strongly about, you know, you should probably do something. If just for your own sense of self achievement.

If you’re not aware of the political nonsense and what not about what’s been going on for a while in the LGBTIQ community in Australia, here’s a nutshell bullet point breakdown.

Gay marriage is illegal in Australia.

Many people have protested this.

The Government has decided to send out a survey with a simple yes/no question: “Should the law be changed to allowed same-sex couples to marry?”

“The survey results will be published on the ABS website on 15 November 2017. That’s just eight days after the survey officially closes. (Although you actually need to post your form by 27 October to ensure it’s counted.)”

This will in theory influence the government to change the law although they are under no obligation to do so irregardless of the results.

There are already speculation as to whether this is going to be a fair survey, with post going missing, people not receiving them or articles claiming that people have found a fairr amount of people’s surveys in the trash.

Now I’m not writing this to tell you which way to vote, that’s up to you. And I would hope it would be obvious I’m in the Yes camp. But I’m not Australian. I’m British. I’m only here on a working holiday visa and therefore it’s not something I can vote on. I might live here temporarily and love it here but officially this is not my country. My country has legalised gay marriage. It was legalised back in 2014. And I can tell you that no heterosexual that I know of cares or has mentioned it since, even if they were in the no camp. Some people are just argumentative for the sake of it and when the dust has settled they couldn’t give a damn about what they were so fervently against a month ago.

Now I know some people are incredibly protective of their privacy. Most just want to get on with their lives and be left alone. 

Just imagine if a friend or family member disapproved and vocally expressed their unwanted negative opinion about a part of your lifestyle that you enjoyed and more importantly couldn’t change and wouldn’t want to change. Hurtful right?

Now imagine a stranger doing the same. What a jerk yeah?

Now imagine a whole country giving their unwanted opinions? Woah, not cool and kinda scary. Not to mention, what’s the word? Infuriating and very upsetting.

And this isn’t the half of it.
Something as seemingly simple as falling in love and wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone isn’t actually that simple. Depending on the gender of yourself and your partners determines if it’s illegal or not. When I think of the word illegal I think of drugs, murder, drunk driving and theft. Not marriage.

This whole marriage topic is just one problem in a list of problems the LGBTIQ community face. Especially in Australia. Aaaand we could talk about priorities until the cows come home. There will be other problems that are more of a priority to other people depending on their situation. I’m just focusing on this one because it’s been in the news and it’s pretty big right now. It’s something I can get behind and support even though I can’t vote.

And let’s call that the political reason of why I went to Sydney Mardi Gras. Regardless of my sexual orientation I’d be in the yes camp and support this.

Now a personal reason as to why I went or wanted to go is that as much as I don’t like announcing it (and you can stop reading now and save me the embarrassment)… (hopefully I’ve bored you to death already and no one is reading this until the end) I’m actually in there in the alphabet soup community I’m a B in the LGBT. I always have been, even though I’ve been told a multitude of crappy things such as “it’s a phase.” And “You’re just saying it for attention.”

I’ve never really fully embraced it and keep it quiet. I don’t usually pursue same sex relations as part of me is or was embarrassed by it. This inability to be comfortable with myself has ruined a few good relationships in the past and makes for fun awkward conversations with conservative co-workers.
I don’t feel like it should be or is as much of an issue as I think it is.
I guess we’ll never know now as I’m happily committed to the Irishman.
And it’s out here in the internet now, so no backsies.

I’d like to think that if we ever did split (although I have no intention of that) that I would have the guts to pursue any relationship I want.

With that being said it seems awfully unfair that if I was to marry Sean it would be legal but if I wanted to marry I dunno let’s call my imaginary future wife Lucy that would be illegal! It makes no sense!? And you don’t have to be in the alphabet soup to notice that.
All you need is a little sprinkling of a magical piece of humanity called E-M-P-A-T-H-Y.

That’s my personal reason for going. Plus people running around in pants doing push ups. And if you don’t love drag we can’t be friends.

Be sure to check out next year as it’s the 40th year anniversary! And those ones are almost always guaranteed to be special!

To end here’s a comic of me in the beach shower minding my own business when some hot chick decides to jump in with me. She got naked too! “Oh, it’s ok! We’re both girls.”

“Begone temptress!!”

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