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It's back - one of Australia's biggest and most anticipated events,
proudly bringing people from all corners of the world together to
celebrate the LGBTQI community. 70,000 people will stand among us to
witness the colourful, energetic, world-famous Mardi Gras
Parade this weekend - and we can't wait.
Whether you're extremely passionate about Mardi Gras or a newbie to
the event, it's hard to ignore all of the festivities - so get stuck
in! Embrace the craziness - from dazzling dancers and divas in drag to
confetti explosions and glitzed up ATMs, a whole lot of fun is coming
One important thing to remember is that Mardi Gras wasn't always a
fabulous, fun-filled parade. We must acknowledge its inspiring,
not-so-colourful 39 year history. The opposition it faced when it
began in comparison to today's international recognition, acceptance
and celebration is a true testament to those who bravely marched and
fought for their rights, and how far society has come to accepting
diversity and difference.
Mardi Gras has different meanings for different people, but the key
message has remained the same for decades - just be you.
We chatted to TAFE NSW students and staff to find out, in a sentence
or two, what Mardi Gras means to them personally - here's what we got
(the good and the bad).
"I think Mardi Gras means having fun and accepting being
different" – Zoe, floristry student
"A celebration. Bringing tourism to Sydney for all the
right reasons" – Jeff, teacher at TAFE NSW
"My friends and I are part of the LGBT community and
think it's fantastic. I'm really grateful to have constant exposure
to it all, the festival itself is amazing" – Spencer,
"Mardi Gras is the one night of the year that I feel I
can express myself with a collective of people that accepts me for
who I am. I've been a part of this event for more than 20 years and
it's great to be part of such a great community who celebrate
together and educate the wider population on some of the issues that
are faced by people in this community. It is a wonderful opportunity
for our Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Transgender and everyone else to be
part of a unique event that celebrates equality and
diversity!" - Ant, Change Manager at TAFE NSW
"I think it's lost its main objective. When it first
started in 1978 it was all about equal rights, a protest. I've
danced on and off at the Mardi Gras aftershows for 17 years, don't
get me wrong, I freaking loved it! But every year I think it's
becoming more of an excuse to get drunk and party more than
anything" - event management student
I think it's gone a little off topic and lost the focus on its
values. It's all become very commercialised – Kate,
Mardi Gras is all about raising awareness. I love that it's a
celebration that everyone can get involved it - even all the big
organisations, police and other government agencies get involved –
it's great fun. Everyone's just in the best mood" -
Geraldine, Social Media Officer at TAFE NSW
and so fun, a big colourful excuse to party and I love it!
– Dan, fashion student
"Fun, dancing, happiness. Everybody's being themselves.
Barriers come down and there's no judgement. It's a really really
cool festival, and the GAYTM's!" – Catrin, Customer
Engagement Director at TAFE NSW
There you have it - Mardi Gras has different meanings for
everyone. Either way, we're all celebrating!
If you're keen to catch the other festivities happening all weekend
for Mardi Gras, here are some cool events to get
Does exactly what it says on the tin. Take a break from spending your
cash, and enjoy the free music and performances from some of Sydney's
best Drag Queens. You'll be dancing the whole way home.
An exhibition of crochet wearable art. Yep you heard that right. The
Melbourne artist, Phil Ferguson creates the pieces using inspiration
from everyday objects such as teabags! Might be an interesting event
Get your active wear out and join a walking tour to find out how LGBT
Sydney started, and where the local hangouts are, from bars to cafes
to galleries. A good opportunity to sample the LGBT life and take some
awesome pics of this beautiful city.
See how these beautiful photographs tell stories of the LGBTQI
community over a ten-year period. This free exhibition aims to give
light to individuals who are struggling with their sexuality, while
also spreading awareness to the wider community. Because who doesn't
love creeping through photos!
Spreading bold messages around sexuality and ethnicity through
embroidery. This creative work is brought to life through
machine-based embroidery, embedded straight into traditional paint on
canvas. Get yourself to Erskineville to experience this unique exhibition.
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