Australia | Carson Kressley | Kathy Griffin | Margaret Cho | News | Sydney

30th Sydney Mardi Gras Draws Crowd of 300,000


The 30th annual Mardi Gras went off over the weekend in Sydney, drawing a crowd of at least 300,000.

Mardi_grasAP: "What began in 1978 as a protest march by 1,500 brave homosexual, lesbian and transsexual men and women that was harshly disbursed by police has grown into one of the world's largest and most flamboyant gay pride events. This year's procession of 150 floats was led by the '78ers' — a group of 186 of the original marchers and their partners, who drew rapturous cheers."

Below, coverage from the Australian video featuring Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin (who arrived there, of course, on the pink flight, and Carson Kressley, whom they identify as Carson Daly:

Craig Gee, who was brutally beaten in an anti-gay attack on Oxford Street three months ago, marched in the parade with his partner Shane Brennen.


Said Gee: "Unfortunately, homophobic violence will only recede when gay people [decide to] stand up and be counted. Shane and I are determined not to feel ashamed of our sexuality, nor to feel scared to walk the streets of Sydney, our home. To lead Mardi Gras will play a huge part in our recovery and we hope that with the support of 10,000 other marchers we will be able to do it."

Main photos by Morgan Carpetner for Same Same, where you can find many more galleries of the parade and parties.

MArdi Gras photo coverage [same same]
Sydney Celebrates 30th Gay Mardi Gras [ap]
BBC Slide Show [bbc]
30-year Anniversary look-back []
Video []

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  1. Kathy is quite the quintessential fag hag.

    Posted by: Not 4 them | Mar 3, 2008 8:18:09 AM

  2. Most of the people who go to Mardi Gras in Sydney go there for the drugs and sex. It's got little, if anything, to do with pride these days. If you call drug-taking and anonymous sex a "proud" event then I suppose you've got it all sewn up.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 3, 2008 8:37:24 AM

  3. Does the AP not have the money for proofreaders anymore? The sense clearly requires "dispersed" in the first sentence of the quoted bit. If the first Sydney Mardi Gras was "harshly disbursed" by the police, that would mean the cops were snarky as they paid the participants, not that they beat the snot out of same to get them off the streets.

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 3, 2008 9:23:32 AM

  4. 300,000 doesn't seem all that huge... I always thought Sydney's Pride celebration would be much larger than that. Toronto Pride usually averages a million.

    Posted by: A.J. | Mar 3, 2008 9:57:54 AM

  5. Gosh, Jason... thank you for taking the time and herculean effort to candidly and honestly interview everyone who has ever gone to Sydney for this event. In this case and without such intensive, directed polling, you can't possibly know their motivations or what "most people" are thinking.

    If you're going to make such a broad generalization, please consider including declarative phrases like "in my opinion" or "I believe".

    To be sure, I'm talking only about your delivery, not the content of your message.

    I'm not suggesting that drugs & anonymous sex aren't present at this event, but your message suggests they're nearly the only reason people attend. If that's the extent of your belief and experience at Mardi Gras, then I think you missed a significant part of the whole thing.

    Posted by: I before E | Mar 3, 2008 10:02:45 AM

  6. disburse, disperse (vv.)

    These are not exact homophones, although they might easily be confused if heard without helpful context. The medial consonant clusters differ (-sb- and -sp-), and the second element of the first is voiced, whereas the second element of the second is voiceless. Disburse means to “to pay out, to distribute money or other assets,” as in The treasurer had disbursed all available funds. Disperse means “to scatter, to break up, to spread out,” as in The members quickly dispersed and fled the city.

    Posted by: I before E | Mar 3, 2008 10:07:29 AM

  7. I have just returned from Sydney and was witness to this wonderful festival, and I must say... Wow! Such negative comments. I'm so dumbfounded that this is what we have all been fighting for; comments on grammar, calling people names for supporting a cause that we should ALL be fighting for, attacks on the comparable 'size' of the event, and rash generalisations of drugs and anonymous sex within the gay community.

    I can't imagine what the people from 1978 and recent victims of gay gate crimes in Sydney and elsewhere must think of such comments. Not to mention the volunteers and assistants that dedicated their time / effort to the parade, parties and other events throughout MG. Shame shame shame. I would hope that above posters are not apart of ANY community (gay or not) near me, because it would be a very poor excuse for one indeed.

    Posted by: pma79 | Mar 3, 2008 11:56:26 AM

  8. I agree PMA79. The arguably rash generalizations sound like a judgment from the wingnuts not fellow gays. Why the hateful tone and hurtful words from our own community? It makes me sad that the people who write these negative posts appear to have so little joy or fun in their own lives that they sometimes seem to resent any gay-themed celebration.

    Posted by: Jack | Mar 3, 2008 12:31:05 PM

  9. I love the picture of Mr. Gee and Mr. Brennen! There is a real sense of gay pride beaming across their faces.

    It just goes to show that there is something for everyone, and all different kinds of Pride expressions can be found at these events.

    I just wish the media showed the diversity of expression better rather than going out of their way to find the most salacious and outrageous theatre and presenting it as the "gay lifestyle" rather than as the entertainment and satire that it was intended to be. Notice how they don't present New Orleans Mardi Gras, and its accompanying outrageousness, as typical of THE "straight lifestyle".

    Bravo to Sydney and the people of Australia for another successful Mardi Gras. It looks like it was a blast. Wish I could have been there!


    Posted by: Zeke | Mar 3, 2008 1:12:38 PM

  10. I gotta put my two cents in. I just came back from Mardi Gras and it was a wonderful time. This is the second time I've been and I can assure you that it is not all about drugs and screwing. I've met wonderful people from all over the world in my trips there. What makes Mardi Gras so special is the friendly Aussies. So, go if you can.

    Posted by: Brandon | Mar 9, 2008 9:12:29 PM

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