My husband booked some last minute flights and decided to head to Sydney for the weekend so we could spend some time with his parents as well as all of our friends who keep moving up there. By the way, you can all stop that thanks.
When we landed we noticed that the airport was a little bit more colourful and fabulous than usual. Its not often you see a drag queen standing by the luggage carousel – and that was when we realised we had fluked the best time to be in Sydney. It was Mardi Gras weekend!
How we were going to get there and who with didn’t matter, we just knew that somehow we would have to go. Thankfully the conversation about it being on came up thanks to my Mother-in-law. Prem (MIL) said the city turns into one big party and that we should go. Stop it, Prem. Just stop it. Prem and I started planning when we would get there but then Rav’s Dad was not as keen at first. Poor thing was tired from doing yoga at 6am in the morning. We ended up convincing him to have a (disco) nap and on Saturday evening we headed into the fabulous Mardi Gras.
This was no ordinary year, either. Malcolm Turnbull became the first sitting PM to attend the parade and Bill Shorten became the first leader of a major party to be IN the parade.
After finding somewhere we would be able to see the parade if we were on a tippy-toes, we lost Prem as she squeezed her way to the front of the barrier. Her eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store, but could have been the reflection from all glitter. Not long after the parade kicking off we saw the 78ers, the first Mardi Gras generation and they made my heart melt. Thank you, 78ers.
People kept dancing and cheering up Oxford Street, glitter cannons were going off (we need more of those in our lives), people were walking around drinking on the streets and the Police just happily asked everyone to play nice. It was the best vibe I had ever seen in Sydney.
After 3 hours at the parade we headed home early – we had to pry Prem’s hands off the barrier to come with us, though. I think my Mother in-law was in for an all-nighter. The evening for us was one full of positivity, fun and most importantly – acceptance. I just wish an event that brings so much love and joy could happen in every city of Australia. I want all my family and friends who are part of the LGBTQIA community to feel as accepted as they do in Sydney during Mardi Gras.
I would also like someone in our government to actually do something about marriage equality because it is a little embarrassing to see so many other countries move forward while we have no light at the end of the tunnel as yet. If my in-laws can not only change their opinion on same-sex marriage but put together a family trip to Mardi Gras, then I really feel like most people in Australia can jump on board.