Only a month after the fact, I thought I’d get around to sharing a few photos from our fabulous, flamboyant night at Sydney’s famous Mardi Gras parade.
The parade is one of the world’s largest GLBT pride celebrations. I’ve heard tell of how spectacular it is for a long time, so attending was high on my list of Sydney things to do – it is even one of my Day Zero Project items, and exciting enough to me that we cut Moving Day short so that we could attend.
We got to Taylor Square about three hours early, and found a spot front and center. As the wait wore on, we got ourselves decked out in pride flags and, per my suggestion that I wished I’d had time to buy a feather boa, Mimi ventured off and returned with a gift of the most prideful adornment – pictured here …
Prior to the parade, we had plenty of wild people watching to keep us amused.
Don’t you just hate it when Fabio crashes your rooftop Mardi Gras party?
All the aparment buildings along Taylor Square were made for Mardi Gras parade watching.
The volunteer staff gave us the biggest source of entertainment. This guy was not even close to the strangest of the volunteers.
The parade itself was, as promised, a grand, ebullient spectacle. It was also nearly three hours long and, I must admit, that I was ready for it to end when it did. There was a vast array of marchers: There was a whole section devoted to LGBT friendly churches, synagogues, and mosques. There were delegations from local police, firefighters, EMT, military, and trade unions. Several large corporations like ANZ bank and Google had groups. Every fetish imaginable was represented. The Raeliens
had us running to our phones to google them (hey, even alien believers can be proud to be gay). I loved the children of GLBT parents part of the parade – lots of decked out strollers and adorable kids with proud parents. And, finally, the best part was all of the sports teams – especially the ones in bathing suits – they truly knew how to put on a show worth watching.
Being in front, we did get some special attention from the paraders throughout the night. One of the strangest moments was when a group from a support hotline paraded by. This guy with a giant cardboard cutout of a telephone came up to me and said, in all earnestness, “Kyle just came out to his parents! He’s very upset! What can you tell him?”, and then thrust the giant phone at me. “You’re beautiful, Kyle! It’s going to be fine!”, I said into the oversized bright orane handset. Only later, did I fully grasp the absurdity of a random spectator counseling a possibly suicidal teen on a massive cardboard cutout phone. Sorry, Kyle. Hope everything works out for you.
The parade did not start until after dark, so my photo taking abilities became quite limited. I ended up with dozens of blurry, but colorful images, so I’ll just share of a few of the less blurry ones.
Our vantage point, looking down the road as the parade passes Taylor Square.
The parade opened with the Aboriginal delegation.
Surprise! Giant gay wedding cakes filled with drag queens!
The Scottish delegation stopped in front of us, showed us that they were wearing something under there, and proceeded to, well, not be wearing something under there. I’m glad I didn’t catch any of the Scottish undies that were tossed out into the crowd. That would have been even more absurd than the cardboard phone call.
The leather delegation.
And, let’s not forget the water polo players, my favorites! You go on with your buff Speedo-ed selves!