I was hobnobbing last night at an InterPride Cocktail Reception at Sydney’s Town Hall. As you do on a Monday.
I introduced myself to few VIPs and was given a sticky diamantie to add to a glittering world map on the wall to identify my country of origin.
InterPride is a global network of over 300 Pride organisations from 70+ countries that works to unite people from all walks of life to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.
Its flagship event, WorldPride, is the world’s largest LGBTQIA+ event.
It is the first time the event is being hosted in the Southern Hemisphere and coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Australian Gay Pride Week, the 45th Anniversary of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the fifth anniversary of marriage equality in Australia.
As I stood in Sydney Town Hall surrounded by sequins and joy it was hard to believe that in 1978 people were arrested for taking part in the first street “festival” that would evolve to become Mardi Gras.
The participants called for an end to discrimination against homosexuals in employment and housing, an end to police harassment and the repeal of all anti-homosexual laws.
Police violently arrested 53 marchers and they were beaten in cells at Darlinghurst Police Station. The Sydney Morning Herald published their names, occupations and home addresses and many lost their jobs as a result because homosexuality was a crime in NSW until 1984.
Those 78ers were incredibly brave and many were in the room for the reception last night.
Sydney Town Hall looked very beautiful. Here are some pretty snaps:
There were lots of lovely speeches that made me feel quite teary.
At one point, RuPaul was quoted: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
I sipped far too much Squealing Pig prosecco for a Monday night, gobbled arancini and spring rolls and posed for ill-advised photos that required much photoshopping to be acceptable for publication.
Must remember RuPaul’s advice …
Fortunately I live in a very convenient location these days, so home was just a single bus stop away.
Song of the day: Kylie Minogue “On a night like this”
I believe that in 1969 our them minister of justice said that the government had no business in the bedrooms of the nation and struck down the law that defined being gay as being a crime….that minister would later become out PM Pierre Trudeau…..but discrimination continues, as us Canadians also gave the world Jordan Peterson……