Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade – a glitzy and glamorous “political march”
The Australian annual ‘Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade’ on Saturday witnessed tens and thousands of people dancing and carousing their way through the streets of Sydney – some attired in classy costumes; while others ‘clothed’ merely in body paint and barest-minimum leaves.
The parade – which began in 1978 essentially as a protest march by homosexual and transsexual men and women – is currently one of the world’s biggest and most glitzy gay pride events.
This year’s event featured the theme, “History of the World” - a peek at gay history; and boasted the involvement of as many as 9,400 participants. The nearly 135 floats, which rolled out from William Square, were led by the well-known transsexual Amanda Lepore, who was scantily-dressed in a diamante G-string, and seated in an open-top Mercedes.
Also a part of the festivities were look-alikes of various celebrities, marching pharaohs, and a crowd favorite - the dykes on bikes! The entire route of the parade was swarmed with spectators, holding rainbow banners and Aussie flags. Jewelry-covered dancers showed off their trimmings and twisted LED hula hoops with captivating variations.
Meanwhile, noting that the significance of the parade had increased manifold after the voting down of a same-sex marriage bill in the Senate earlier this week, Katrina Marton - chief of events at Mardi Gras - said: “Under the glitz and glamour it's still a political march.”
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