IT’s parade day, and I’ve just returned from probably the biggest press conference I have ever seen for the parade. The media is out in full for this year’s march down Oxford street and so it should be.
I think it’s important to reflect on the events of last Thursday where the Marriage Equality (Amendment) Bill was defeated 45 votes to five in the senate.
But, what is a telling sign is that 26 senators did not turn up to the vote, with both major parties opting not to allow a conscience vote on the issue. This is a clear sign that the leaders of both major parties support discrimination against same-sex partners.
The year is 2010, and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer communities are still not equal like many other countries around the world. This is why Mardi Gras is still important.
This is why we continue to have over 130 floats, and over 9000 people marching today.
This is why we are still so important to our communities and to communities in oppressed countries such as Uganda.
This is our Mardi Gras, and we will not stop fighting until are rights are equal for everyone throughout the world.
From a personal perspective, today will be my 16th parade as an out and proud lesbian.
Today will be my 5th parade as a director of New Mardi Gras and my 3rd parade as the co-chair of this great organisation.
I am so honored to lead this organisation that continues to change people lives.
And I am feeling that excitement that so many people tell me about when they are lining up for the first ever parade. I have wardrobe issues, and logistic issues and butterflies in my stomach, but I’m so excited that I can hardly wait. Look for me in the purple section of the Dykes on bikes, my hands in the air, waving and screaming like a 14 year old tonight.
I can’t wait.
HAPPY MARDI GRAS EVERYONE!