This weekend is probably one of the biggest ones this summer for the gay and lesbian community on the East Coast of Australia: It's the weekend of the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras.
When it comes to experiences with gay festivals I've only been to the Rainbow Parade in Vienna and a few gay clubs. In Vienna everything was loud (not in the greatest way), amazingly colourful and OF COURSE full of glitter. I must say it was fun but not my favourite thing in the world. I like that this community gets a platform (even) in Vienna to celebrate themselves. It's so much better to get out there and be who you are than lie about it, hide and maybe even hurt others with your actions. Be yourself and be honest!
If there was no rejection people wouldn't have to be afraid to be who they really are. But unfortunalety, that's what most parts of the world are like - so hiding and lying becomes something normal. Some of my really close friends are gay and it hasn't always been easy for them. I wish everyone could just be accepted the way they simply are from the minute they feel it so they can be open and honest about it. Nobody would have to lie, hide or mess with the people that love them, their friends and family. (Too much 'I wish the world was a better place?' - Ok, let's get back to Sydney...)
I won't be here this weekend to experience the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras myself but I can already tell you: Sydney is ready.
And not only Sydney. Australia. You can feel and see (oh yes SEE) that people want equality. It is absolutely common to refer to someones boy- or girlfriend as a partner - and not a BOYfriend or GIRLfriend. Nobody ever asked if I had a boyfriend, but a partner. The first time I was asked that question I have to admit I was a little confused. 'Do people think I'm a lesbian?' 'I should have applied more make-up!' - those were the stupid thoughts that crossed my mind. But NO. It is just absolutely normal. AND IT SHOULD BE.
I feel that Europe still has to learn a thing or two when it comes to acceptance and equality. I guess we're on the right path but there is still a lot to do.
So, here are a few pics of Sydney getting ready for the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras: