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sometimes blue
DrewI am a thirty something married gay boy living in Sydney, almost on top of the gay scene but not in it! Why Sometimes blue?, because I love blue, but also I am sometimes blue :)
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Wednesday, February 19, 2003

11 Days Countdown to Mardi Gras

It's only eleven days till the New Sydney Mardi Gras Party and Parade on Saturday the first of March.

Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has traditionally been one of the largest and Internationally recogonised celebrations for the Gay and Lesbian Community. With the demise of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras last year under a cloud of financial troubles this year's party, parade and festival is a much scaled down event being operated by the newly formed Sydney Mardi Gras.

Notice the lack of Gay and Lesbian in the name of the organisation?

Mardi Gras has been a target of it's own success over the last ten years, the events themselves have been managed, created and operated by community groups and members but the community at large has been taking over and diluting the "gayness". This year the party tickets are open to all and sundry, wheras in other years people had to be a member of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Organisation to purchase tickets. This has been very successful at keeping it a Gay and Lesbian event and limiting the number of people who do not really fit at a Gay and Lesbian event.

This may sound like discrimination and in it's own way it is, but in this case it has been positive discrimination aimed at ensuring a safe and friendly environment for the gay and lesbian community.

In the mid ninties the parties started to have a small but noticable "straight" crowd. This was fine when they integrated into the rest of the party, but this group started to congregate together in one large section of the party.

When it's a well integrated straight contigent it's fine, until you accidently wandered into a huge section of the dance floor and were pushed by the straight girls, shoved hard by the straight boys and generally made to feel unsafe.

Now forgive me if I am wrong but Mardi Gras is a Gay and Lesbian event. The reason we have special events is because when the straight community have their thousands and thousands of dance parties, clubs and special events we can go, but we can't act gay or bisexual (in other words ourselves) without fear of real violence and problems.

The straight community keeps on telling me that I have equality and I can go to any straight event I want to - but realistically I can go, but can I dance with my partner, or express my sexuality openly without fear of violence, verbal abuse or nastiness aimed at me? No I cannot.

This is an issue that I feel very strongly about because I know how dangerous being openly gay at a straight event can be. Let us keep our Gay and Lesbian events and help make sure they are Gay and Lesbian.


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