Well…. I have put off writing this blog for as long as I can. They say that it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and some can say since the introduction of the Bilton into my life, I’m not qualified to be that fat lady anymore, but it’s sad to say that Mardi Gras 2010 is over and out for another year.
It’s a sad day, and I’ve put this off for as long as I can, but it has been 3 weeks since party 10, and as off Friday night, with the volunteers thank you shing ding done and dusted, we must all come to the realization that it is over for another year.
There is always an element of depression for me at the end of each season. We spend months gearing up to the season, planning every little bit of every event, and letting the Gras totally consume every moment of our uncommitted lives. Our partners ignored, our pets fed yet neglected, our friends packed away with a series of “lets catch up after Mardi Gras”. And then…. Nothing. No great buckets of email to get through, no event or meeting every night, no running out of the office to take those, oh so important, phone calls. Nothing, Nil, zip….
For me personally, there is still the de-briefs and governance based meetings to attend, the planning for 2011,2012 etc etc to start, and the essential sleep to get in, but that buzz, that excitement that lasts from new years to March is just not there anymore.
As I look back over the season I recall some really genuine inspiring moments. I wish I had had more time to keep this blog up to date and I had written every day, but I just didn’t have the luxury of time then. As always I wish I had taken more photos of all the things I had done and experienced and even what some people would think boring, I found exciting.
I’ve been really trying to work out what my Mardi Gras highlight this year was for me. You know, that special Mardi Gras moment for 2010. Although I had lots of very special memories with very special people, there was one moment that will always stick out for me, because it was a moment that transcended my community, my personal barriers, and my pre-conceived ideas around acceptance and tolerance.
And I shared that moment with someone who, although a friend, was someone who I didn’t know that well, and the least likely person to share my Mardi Gras moment with.
It was the exact moment at Spencer Tunick when I had stripped down to all but my underwear and t-shirt, and I was truly about to chicken out. It wasn’t the other directors around me that motivated me to “cross the great Divide”, it wasn’t the 3 months of training that saw me lose over 10kilos in the lead up, it wasn’t my other community friends in the crowd. Nor was it the thousands of naked people all around me, and the buzz and excitement of mass nudity.
It was a straight, beautiful friend of mine, Michelle, someone who’s beauty I had found so intimidating in the past, for her perfect body, skin and hair, her beautiful dress sense and energy, and here she was looking into my eyes, telling me to just do it and let it go. She was, at that moment to me, the epiphany of equality. It didn’t matter to her if was gay, or larger, or older. It didn’t matter to her what I looked like or where I had been, or where I was going. All that mattered was that we were doing this together, the two of us, the 5 of us, the 5200 of us. We were all the same on those steps at 5am on a brisk March morning. And in that moment, all the 33 Mardi Gras before this one, came crashing to a single unified pointy point! We were all the same. After all our struggles, all our victories and all our losses, for that 1 hour, all of us were exactly the same.
It’s been a great ride this year with the Gras, and for all the ups and downs that this season bought I still love the organisation as much as I did when I first arrived in Sydney all those years ago, and I look forward to the months of planning for the next one, and the one after that… because:
“We do what we do because it’s important.”
The fat lady has now sung.
PS: I loved dressing up for my first step into the world of Drag for Party this year, see photo!