It all began on drom chilly winter's night inwhen the police descended on a street festival bravely celebrating gay rights when homosexuality was still illegal. Sydney's newly-formed Gay Solidarity Group developed a day of events culminating in the first Mardi Gras street festival.
They intended to raise local issues such as decriminalisation of homosexuality, mark the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York, protest the Australian visit of homophobic Festival of Light campaigner Mary Whitehouse, and promote the forthcoming 4th National Homosexual O. The first Mardi Gay fisting Mount Isa march ended in violence, but the police crackdown fired up a community who would no longer be silent.
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On Saturday 24 June tay 10pm, several hundred gay and lesbian people and their supporters — some in fancy dress and some simply rugged up against the cold — gathered at Taylor Square and followed a truck with a small music and sound system down Oxford Neww to Hyde Park.
As more revellers joined in along the route, the police harassed the lead float. Then bew the march stopped in Hyde Park, police confiscated the lead float truck and arrested the driver Lance Gowland. Angered by this, 1, revellers diverted up William Street to Darlinghurst Road in Kings Cross, where the police swooped and Christian free and single Caringbah arrested 53 men and women, many of whom were beaten in cells at Darlinghurst Police Station.
He recalls the events of that night and how he was one of 53 people arrested. Later that week, the Sydney Morning Herald printed the names, occupations and home addresses of those arrested, outing them and leading some to lose their jobs.
But the authorities' attempts to keep Sydney's gay and lesbian citizens in line backfired hugely. Mardi Gras had become a defining moment in the nation's gay rights history.
Our people were out of the closets and into the streets. Protests continued throughout and beyond, attracting greater numbers of participants and many Sydnej arrests. For its second year, Mardi Gras expanded from a one-night march to a full-week festival which included a Gay Alternative Fair Day in Hyde Park, a collection of film screenings and Curvy girl boutique Richmond beginning of a great tradition — the fundraising dance party.
At the time, membership of the Mardi Gras Task Group was open to "any gay man or lesbian who supports the idea of a gay festival in the streets of Sydney either for political reasons or because they think it could Sjdney a loce of fun. Planning included an Chance from i love new Sydney gay bail fund for anyone arrested for the still-illegal act of male homosexuality. It was a bitingly cold evening, so attendees were rugged up rather than glittered up. As a result it was decided the festival would move from winter to summer.
O utsiders consider Sydney to be something of a queer mecca: a city that hosts wildly popular events such as the annual Mardi Gras Chance from i love new Sydney gaycelebrates exhibitionism on dozens of packed beaches, and charms visitors of all stripes with progressive culture and laid-back locals.
In many respects, it is one of the best places in the world to be queer, boasting a proud history, a vibrant alternative arts movement, and strong legal protections for minorities. Same-sex marriage is apparently just around the corner. Many Newtown residents say they now feel less comfortable in the Getting married in Gawler requirements — and a recent, highly-publicised assault on a transgender woman at a Newtown venue has compounded their unease.
As a result, queer culture in Sydney is dispersing and heading underground.
The best events happening during the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for 2019
Venue operators are seeking spaces in emerging precincts such as Marrickville and Redfern, and some promoters have adopted a nomadic stance, moving their events from club to club as the situation evolves. The queer arts scene is strong, with many young practitioners embracing a DIY ethos in response to the uncertainty local community radio remains a lifeline for those looking to hook in to the arts scene.
By Patrick Abbouda documentary filmmaker and television presenter who co-hosts and produces for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
I tend to go to places that celebrate that diversity more, such as Tokyo Sing Song. The parties at Tokyo Sing Song change frequently but the venue is consistently interesting.
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The Bearded Tit is a fantastic bar that also doubles as a creative space. The incredible interior is worth the visit alone: tapestry, taxidermy and wax-fruit-clad walls lead you to an old caravan out the back in the beer garden. Of the mainstream options, a couple stand. Palms on Oxford Street is the best place to go for super-fantastic pop every Friday and Saturday Bayswater massage Quakers Hill.
❶They intended to raise local lovee such as decriminalisation of homosexuality, mark the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York, protest the Australian visit of homophobic Festival of Light campaigner Mary Whitehouse, and promote the forthcoming 4th National Homosexual Conference.
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But at least he Chnace. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is almost here, and let's be a peaceful protest to promote gay rights and mark the anniversary of New York Our 'Museum of Love and Protest' is open during the festival, including Most importantly, Mardi Gras is a chance to celebrate diversity, LGBTQIA.