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Image for No gays, no lesbians? Mardi Gras rebrand sparks anger

No gays, no lesbians? MardiGras rebrand sparks anger

Some of Mardi Gras’ biggest long-time supporters are incensed that Sydney Mardi Gras’ new name and look doesn’t include the words ‘Gay and Lesbian’.

The annual event’s new logo and plans for the 2012 season were unveiled yesterday, and while many welcomed the new logo and guest act announcements, many others were concerned over dropping the event’s traditional title ‘Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ down to ‘Sydney Mardi Gras’.

Former Mardi Gras President Richard Cobden has been particularly vocal. “This morning’s Sydney Morning Herald front page sums it up: Mardi Gras goes straight,” he tells Same Same.

“Neither the organisation, and especially not this Board or staff, had any permission or mandate to make Mardi Gras straight. [Mardi Gras Chair] Peter Urmson says ‘this is our gift to the city’. It was not his to give.”

The most immediate and visible result of what they have done will be to remove the most frequent, favourable, beneficial and powerful uses of the words ‘gay and lesbian’, Cobden adds. “For 20-plus years we have been able to force the mainstream media to call it the GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS. They had to say the words. For a long time they did not want to but we made them. That has been thrown away.”

For years it has been a condition of non-GLBTIQ organisations and businesses that, if allowed in at all, they must give an explicit message of support to the gay and lesbian community, he points out. “Even major sponsors had to do that. How can the organisation possibly ask for that now when they themselves have dropped an explicit gay and lesbian message?

“Finally, sponsors had to use the words ‘gay and lesbian’ when associating themselves with Mardi Gras. Making them do so was a powerful force for liberation. Now they don’t have to use those words. Easier for marketing people to get sponsorship dollars and keep their jobs; a big step backwards for gay and lesbian rights.”

Cobden concludes: “Had they properly consulted all of these appalling ramifications might have occurred to them. This decision has to be reversed immediately.”

Several comments here on Same Same also highlight how many potential festival-goers are disgruntled with Mardi Gras’ new name. “What’s the point of all this if we exclude the two words that mean the most to the purpose or reason for the organisation’s existence?” typed one. “It erases the gay and lesbian protest history of how this amazing event founded itself and who it celebrates,” summed up another.

“To me it seems like they are saying ‘it’s ok to be gay and lesbian behind the scenes, but not in public’. Who would have thought that Mardi Gras would go back in the closet?”

Next page: Mardi Gras responds to the community’s concerns…

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Comments

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lordpats

lordpats said on the 18th Nov, 2011

SGLMG needs to make a strong statement. It cannot do this without being explicitly celebrating queer sexuality. It is true that the terms 'gay' and 'lesbian' exclude, but even these terms sent a stronger message than removing any reference to queers. When legal discrimination still needs to be fought, and a strong statement made to assist queer youth, is creating a parade that celebrates being straight as much as being gay really the responsible direction? Straight people don't need a parade- they don't face legal discrimination and their youth aren't in danger because of their sexuality- every day is a 'parade' of heterosexuality.

People refer to the London Pride and NY Pride- both these refer to queer people through their use of the word 'pride'. Crucially, this parade does not celebrate straight people- it allows them to celebrate our sexuality. For most of these supportive straight people, the terms 'gay' and 'lesbian' did not deter or exclude them- it was the reason they came.

The terms 'gay' and 'lesbian' did exclude transgendered, transsexual and intersex people. But at no point have they been excluded from the parade itself. The terms 'gay' and 'lesbian' existed to send a strong message to homophobes that this was a night for our community proclaim our sexuality as legitimate. The average homophobe doesn't know much about transgendered, transexual and intersex people- he just lumps us all together as freaks. So does diluting the potency of the message do anything to help the transgendered, transexual and intersex people, who the gay and lesbian majority walked in solidarity with? Or does it just make Mardi Gras a self indulgent celebration of every sexuality, including straight people, when it should be a strong, defiant statement against homophobic and anti-queer oppression?

If kids can still call me a faggot, as they did last night, why can't my parade do the same when I'm walking down Oxford St?

Damon H

Damon H said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Much has been discussed today about the new direction for Mardi Gras.

For the record, the G&L is coming back to the name at the very front - it will be known as "Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras" presents.... "Sydney Mardi Gras", "Fair Day" etc etc. We are no longer "New" but we certainly are run by the Gay & Lesbian communities first and foremost.

For the record, the Parade criteria has NOT been changed to let anyone participate. A proven commitment to our diverse communities is still very much essential. I would not support any dissolving of our current criteria nor has it been suggested at any briefing or meetings regarding the rebranding.

Our new message, your new message, is that we are leaders of showing the world that it really is about love and our right to love freely, openly and without restrictions - everyone, everywhere - NOW!

How YOU take that message and embrace it is up to YOU.

Please ensure the correct facts are used and feel free to cut and paste, or share, my comments as a Director of YOUR Mardi Gras.

BenGresham

BenGresham said on the 18th Nov, 2011

The name change and removal of 'Gay and Lesbian' is so saddening. I have been marching for the last 4 years. Last year my parents joined me for the first time. They didn't care that it was called 'Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras' - for them that was the whole point. My parents marched to support their gay son.

There are still so many issues we face as a queer/gay community and now one of the best platforms to raise these issues has been destroyed. We are still fighting for same-sex marriage, against discrimination in our work places and places of worship. We are still campaigning for our transgender, bi and intersex friends. We are still fighting to see 'ex-gay' programs shut down and for better healthcare. We are fighting against HIV/AIDS and believing for a cure. Most importantly, Mardi Gras was about us standing together and saying to the world that we are here and we are queer and we are not going away!!

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Hi Damon, thanks for giving another perspective from within the organisation, but it doesn't seem to match up with what's been said publicly:

"Mardi Gras is now inviting those who share our positive message about the power and beauty of diversity to be part of our celebration.
We would love to see people who share our values, but who never thought they would be in the Parade to approach us and share their ideas. There will always be room for a great float which will both entertain and bring people together."

That kinds sounds like a change in parade criteria to me!

Also, the only place on the website that seems to mention Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is in the footer (which also has the old logo, so maybe it just hasnz't been updated yet)

Also, where here
http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=MARDIGRA12
Does it mention anything other than the fact that it's Anything other than just another dance party?

I really hope you're right, though.


michali

michali said on the 18th Nov, 2011

I'm Michael Rolik, CEO SGLMG and I'm writing to put forward the facts.

First and foremost Mardi Gras is not going straight.

That is preposterous and that statement is simply what it is, a sensational headline designed to sell newspapers and drive traffic to websites.

The organisation is Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. And proudly so.

The festival is Sydney Mardi Gras presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. And proudly so.

The Big Gay Weekend or next Sleaze Ball will be presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. And proudly so.

The condition of support of non-LGBTQI organisations and businesses (whether sponsors or not) remains explicit, unchanged and nor will it change. All current and prospective sponsors are selected on the basis of a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of the wellbeing of their LGBTQ workforce.

The objects that are hard coded into SGLMG's constitution are clear and explicit - we are a LGBTQI organisation producing LGBTQI events, advancing LGBTQI interests and we can welcome those that share these values.

This DNA is replicated in our parade criteria (that was ratified last year through extensive consultation) - so the Parade is not going to be 'straight' nor is the sky is not going to fall on our heads.

The suggestion that our explicit gay and lesbian message will overnight or even in 20 years disappear because its called Sydney Mardi Gras is ridiculous - the objects, policies and our Parade criteria of our organisation, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, enshrine those messages, direct our programming and determine what makes up the Parade and all of our events.

The event has changed to what most people call it.

Take the time to click through our website and explore the 60 festival events, the Mardi Gras Party DJ's and performers and you will see the evidence that it is heaving with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex programming.

http://www.mardigras.org.au/mardi-gras-2012/index.cfm

The point that is being (deliberately?) missed here is that we are not taking anything away, we are ADDING to it. We are being more inclusive.

I guess a key question about identity is this - are we gay people, or people who are gay?

How we as individuals (and communities) identify may be as ambiguous as we are diverse (and that's fine) but what is UNAMBIGUOUS is that Sydney Mardi Gras presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has and will always have a gay thumping heart.

Get the facts here:

http://www.mardigras.org.au/about-us/new-vision/index.cfm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVHuzfY0w38&feature=g-all

david_margeaux

david_margeaux said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Dress it up however you want Michael, but you and the board have effectively stripped us of our identity, silenced our voices and removed our visibility in what used to be the biggest celebration of our community.

fivewings

fivewings said on the 18th Nov, 2011

But @David, don't you realise that a lot of queers don't identify as "gay" or "lesbian" simply because they don't fit those labels?

david_margeaux

david_margeaux said on the 18th Nov, 2011

@Fivewings - I assume you meant me in your post so... I agree that it probably wasn't perfect, and if a change needed to be made it should've included all the other flavours of queer (as you suggested) which would've been more inclusive than dropping the 2 key names out of the festival instead. But removing what was always a strength of solidarity and visibility is ludicrous in the extreme.

TheAdmiral

TheAdmiral said on the 18th Nov, 2011

*Takes deep breath*

I am a member of New Mardi Gras.

I was well aware that the organization was going to revert to its name of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras because it ceased being NEW a long long time ago. So that part of the announcement was not a surprise to me.

The initial announcement that the event will now be known as Sydney Mardi Gras was met with some surprise because as a Mardi Gras member I was not aware that the name of the event was to be changed.

From what I can now determine the event will be called Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi PRESENTS Sydney Mardi Gras.

Ok, I can live with that. I may not necessarily agree with the name change but let us see what happens.

I am not aware that the membership was consulted. In fact I cannot recall any emails inviting me to a consultation about the name change.

I think the announcement of the festival logo and name change has not been handled well and I think that that is what the main problem is.

It does seem that the organisation is going away from what it was original about.

As I have said, I am not a fan of the name change but what is there that we can do about it now. Nothing so as David Wilson said on Facebook "Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras presents Sydney Mardi Gras. Get used to it !" I guess we can jump up and down and scream and shout all we want but there is nothing more we can .



CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Of course, "Sydney Mardi Gras presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras" is much shorter and simpler than "Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras"

I still can't see where it says that on the site or Ticketek.

The Pup

The Pup said on the 18th Nov, 2011

I think this is the first time I have totally agreed with and posted a SS article on to my facebook page...I am shocked and horrified with MG dropping gay and lesbian from the logo/image....I spent over 20yrs fighting and being proud of being gay and now the committee of MG is trying to be more inclusive of straight peep...(remember us 'gays' cant feel safe and include in many places still!) or is it Tourism NSW waving the chq book...dont forget peeps, Tourism NSW (apparently) tried to stop any gay owned travel business from having a stall at fair day from what I understand on a few occasions... this is not MG looking after the GLBTI community...it is a corp trying to look after its interests (the travel industry of NSW)...going along the lines of spin from the MG rep in this article then well maybe the ALF should invite other footy codes to participate in the ALF grand final parade. So angry. So disappointed.

nealjennings

nealjennings said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Personally, as someone who identifies as "queer" for lack of a better word (I suppose "bi" might be the closest "standard" term you could apply), I always felt a little bit excluded from an event clearly designed for "gays and lesbians." It felt like they were the only 'true' members of the community that was being celebrated, and that while others were encouraged to participate that it was not really 'our' event.

Also, if you look around the world, most organisations dropped the "gay & lesbian" (or simply "gay," as many went by) a long time ago. It's rare you'll find a "gay pride" event these days, you find "pride" events whose more detailed, often subtitled, names include the whole queer alphabet, and not just the "gay" and/or "lesbian" part. Mardi Gras doesn't seem to be moving away from being glbtqi at all - they've made explicit and direct moves to include the more marginalised parts of our communities in the organisation's official mandate, and in my view this is just one further step in that direction.

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Hi Neal, I understand where you're coming from, but a "Pride" event is intrinsically queer/glbtqi (take your pick), whereas Mardi Gras isn't. In fact most Mardi Gras celebrations around the world aren't. In some ways, I personally would possibly have been less concerned if they'd renamed it 'Sydney Pride'.

david_margeaux

david_margeaux said on the 18th Nov, 2011

This is nothing short of outrageous. The current board and management have lost the plot.

Nikel

Nikel said on the 18th Nov, 2011

And once again it becomes 'the love that dare not speak its name'

lordpats

lordpats said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Perhaps we are failing to see the real motivation behind this re-brand. What Mardi Gras has actually done is a bit more complex than it seems. It is not simply attempting to include trans or intersex people nor is it directly pandering to the straight majority. Mardi Gras has suffered major losses in recent years. It needs to increase ticket sales. Therefore, Mardi Gras has attempted to open up the parade to become more accessible to straight people, just as Chinese New Year has become an all inclusive Sydney event. Increasingly, we are putting on a parade the whole city can be a part of. By doing this, Mardi Gras will increase ticket sales by appealing to a wider range of the populous.

Some argue that by doing this, Mardi Gras is therefore extending a welcome to those who would avoid us simply because of the words 'gay' or 'lesbian'. What it certainly is doing is quietly removing the protest element of the parade and turning it into a far marketable, city wide celebration of sexuality, gay or straight.
The problem with this though is that Mardi Gras is not principally a celebration. Some have compared it to Chinese New Year- unlike Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year does not protest racism against Chinese. We can all have our view on what Mardi Gras is or should mean, but my view accords with the view of many Sydney gays who think that this is totally irresponsible when we are still subject to legal discrimination and homophobia, and totally opposed to the 78'rs protesting spirit. If straight people want to be a part of the parade, they can do it by supporting us rather than believing the parade is also about them.

mark_

mark_ said on the 18th Nov, 2011

^
'the love that dare not speak its name'

'We kiss in a shadow, we hide from the moon'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRyl1opN7yg&feature=related

trevleen

trevleen said on the 18th Nov, 2011

%u2018As someone who was at the first Mardi Gras in 1978 I am completely shocked that an event that was held in the name of gay solidarity, and included us all chanting %u2018stop police attacks on gays, women and blacks%u2019 prior to so many of us being brutally bashed and arrested that night seems to have been effectively %u2018de-gayed%u2019 by removing these words from the parade title. I had thought that Mardi Gras was actually becoming more inclusive, not less, and if anything it should be the GLBTI / Queer Mardi Gras Parade in this day and age, surely.

No one can seriously think that our elders and youth, who continue to suffer fear of discrimination, bullying and persecution to the point of considering or committing suicide, have nothing left to fight for and no longer need clear, specific, mainstream visibility. We all do. The struggle is far from over.

I wondered last week, when I saw the 1978 and 1979 posters being used by Mardi Gras on their new %u2018through the ages%u2019 poster and as their profile picture on Facebook, whether something similar to the butterfly might be the new symbol %u2013 a tribute to the first events, to the 78ers, and to the designer of those posters. To me the new symbol is not just two hearts, to my eyes it is an immediately apparent direct reference to that butterfly on our first two posters, and it needs to be acknowledged as such and the designer of that beautiful original image credited for that.

Hopefully Mardi Gras will reverse this decision that erases its true history, consult with 78ers about the way forward, and embrace rather than alienate large parts of the GLBTIQ community%u2019.
Jo Harrison
78er.

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 18th Nov, 2011

People are forgetting that NMG did a very thorough consultation process and it was well publicised in the GLTBIQ media. This decision would not have been taken lightly. I have to say I'm seeing a pattern of the types of people who are against this decision. I'm starting to wonder whether people are too attached to identifying themselves and their sexuality withpolicitical identity instead of identifying themselves as a individual with their own sexuality, which they can determine for themselves, now that would be liberating.

brad2529

brad2529 said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Bring back 'Gay & Lesbian'!!!!!

Spooky

Spooky said on the 18th Nov, 2011

As long as there is religion, we are Gay & Lesbian!!!!

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 18th Nov, 2011

One of the saddest things about all of this is the timing - just two weeks out from the ALP National Conference, instead of focusing on fighting for our next step to equality, Mardi Gras has managed to completly split the community and turn it in on itself.

BoneIdol

BoneIdol said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Its fucking gay and lesbian it should fucking well say it. Dumb fucking cunts are even selling outward gras

Husky-D

Husky-D said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Hmm I'm a bit torn on this.

From what I understand, Mardi Gras dropped "gay & lesbian" because they aim to be more inclusive and more diverse. To me it means:

1) They try to reach out to non-queer/straight people
2) the "gay & lesbian" doesn't represent transgender, bisexual and intersex people or people who do not wish to be labeled, so it should be removed

I'm all for changes and I'm well aware that any changes bare risks. I just wanted to voice my concerns about the reasons above.

1) First, why do straight people come to Mardi Gras? Is it because of the name? Or is it because of the actual contents and themes of the events? If it is the culture, contents, activities and themes of a GLBTIQ Mardi Gras that determines if they want to come or not. Then changing the name won't make a big difference. I mean if they come for the themes and activities then having "gay & lesbian" in the name is no problem for them at all. If they decide to come JUST because "gay & lesbian" is dropped from the name, then they still wouldn't enjoy the gay/queer events.

2) Yes in addition to gays and lesbians, we also have our transgender, bisexual and interest friends and those who don't want to be labelled. Removing "gay & lesbian" doesn't 100% translate into including "TBIQ" though. What I am trying to say is since currently we don't have a word (a word, not alphabet soup) that can cover everyone in our community (you may say "queer" but some people don't like the word neither), having "gay & lesbian" in the name at least sends out a strong message and makes it clear what this is about.

Like I said somewhere else, I really couldn't care less about what name is used as long as the events are still GLBTIQ. And I'm relieved(and happy) to see the SGLMG's committed to make sure it stays that way.

Maybe we can call it "Sydney Pride Mardi Gras"?

Angel Kisses

Angel Kisses said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Firstly, wants to say thanks to Matt for writing a follow up article, which interviewed those opposed to the change and the Head of Marketing & Communications Damien Eames of the now called Sydney Mardi Gras.
My first reaction was one of shock I must admit to the name change, but I am one to stand back and read all facts before I launch into any comments myself. I have taken the time to read all articles I could find, comments, talked to other lesbian girlfriends and checked out the revamped website before I wanted to comment.
I did notice that today not sure when, a page has been added to the Mardi Gras website explaining the changes.
Yesterday I did post in the ladies lounge a new thread regarding this to spark conversation and gauge the reponses of other ladies to the changes and new website. Not many have commented at all on this so far, but those who have could be sumed up as commenting, this is a good thing as it includes those other than those who just identify with being gay or lesbian. Mainly it didnt seem to bother anyone so far.
I feel dissapointed with the name change. I understand that the words, gay and lesbian don't include bi,trans,intersex, gender diverse and one of the points for the name change was to fix that. I owned the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as a place to celebrate being part of the LGBTQI community and say to others this is who we are loudly. Think its a shame that the words gay and lesbian would deter anyone in the LGBTQI community from participating. From what I have seen from years I have attended there has always been a strong support in all areas of the community. So dropping those words and now not identifying as being from any particular LGBTQI community is a good thing? I think not.
Must say though the point that young people mainly or others hate labels as an arguement for the change is a little distrubing. Okay I know what its like to have struggled as most do at some point in there life on this site with identity issues. I am attracted to women, I have a female partner, so if that doesnt make one a lesbian then what does? Labels and sterotyping isnt my thing, but I do identify as a lesbian PROUDLY. Kind of shows that we still have a long way to go if those that are gay and lesbian arnt comfortable with those terms.
Lastly,I do wonder if, its to please those potential businesses who are uncomfortable with being seen to associate with the terms gay and lesbian.

lordpats

lordpats said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Why not call this Sydney Queer Mardi Gras, or something along those lines? Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is successfully pissing off a lot more older gays by removing any formal reference to them or their struggle in 1978. The Mardi Gras website doesn't even have a reference to gays, lesbians or queer people on their website other than the company name! The parade must continue to fight homophobia and hatred, and straight people can be free to participate as supporters of our right to be queer. Let's not undermine our political message, nor tone the queer themes down to appease straights who feel unable to attend the parade because it includes the terms 'gay' or 'lesbian'.

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 18th Nov, 2011

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-18/workers-still-being-pressured-to-stay-in-the-closet/3681056?section=justin

Yep... everyone loves us... the world is one big ball of love and tolerance and equality.

ammonite

ammonite said on the 18th Nov, 2011

^
'the love that dare not speak its name'

'We kiss in a shadow, we hide from the moon'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRyl1opN7yg&feature=related

they were decapitated

pie141

pie141 said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Disgusting! It's an outrage! We are gay and lesbian! DER! The parade is about US and our pride. Straight people celebrate their pride in the most public displays EVERY DAY! One day of the year and we dilute it. F! Straight people are so welcome to march in the parade in support of the GLBT community, but they are marching in OUR parade. It will be a case of US and THEM until we get all the rights and recognition that we deserve. I love my straight friends and family very dearly, but they are not discriminated against for their orientation.

SAD!

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 18th Nov, 2011

@Husky-D I agree Sydney Pride Mardi Gras would be a lot better. Yet I disagree with you on the inclusion of Gay & Lesbian and GLBTIQ since the those terms only fit a narrow definition of sexual identity and what we are learning is that human sexuality is very diverse and unique to each individual. What I see MG is doing is reflecting this and working on the basis of liberation and freedom regardless of sexuality, which it should be based on. Instead of the identity politics of GLBTIQ etc...

david_margeaux

david_margeaux said on the 18th Nov, 2011

This is a great video that helps to show why we need to remain visible and keeping Gay & Lesbian prominently in the festival branding is absolutely critical. Jamey and many others have killed themselves because they were bullied and harassed for being GLBTI. Not for being different or being stuck in infinite love, because they were Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered, Bisexual, or Intersex. We owe it to them and the thousands of others who's names we don't know to keep fighting for visibility, acceptance, tolerance and inclusion into the wider community. We shouldn't have to sacrifice our identity or culture to achieve this goal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVyugde89W0

isobelconnell

isobelconnell said on the 18th Nov, 2011

More gaystreaming, more commercialization, less relevance. And the argument about young people not wanting to be labelled is pure horseshit. Respect the history of the event- it started as a political RIOT, not a dance party! I will NOT pander to heterosexuals in order to gain civil rights, I will simply take them.

liamj

liamj said on the 18th Nov, 2011

There has been a lot of passionate discussion today about the new Mardi Gras brand and specifically the decision to rename the event 'Sydney Mardi Gras'. As a proud (gay) member of gen Y, I am so grateful of the 78ers and all those before us for getting us to the point we are today. This rebrand is a testament to all that has been achieved and I believe we should be celebrating....

Celebrating the fact that 'Mardi Gras' is a globally recognised event synonymous with gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, bisexual, intersex or however else you choose to identify yourself. Broadening the name to make it more inclusive is not going to change that identity;

Celebrating the fact that our generation doesn't feel the need to expressly identify ourselves by our sexuality, but rather that we view our sexuality as being just one component of our identity;

Celebrating the fact that many of us, thanks to our predecessors, have equal acceptance and are even embraced by our families, friends and colleagues;

Celebrating the fact that we are so close to being able to marry the person that we love; and

Celebrting the fact that every day we are closer to the equality that has been fought so hard for. And the only way to have true equality is through inclusiveness. So long as we continue to impose exclusive labels on ourselves such as 'gay and lesbian', 'GLBTQI' or any other label we perpetuate a 'them and us' culture under which true equality will never be achieved.

Giving yourself a nick name does not change who you are - the living, breathing soul and personality of Mardi Gras is made up of the people within our community and it is and always will be GLBTQI. So too will the press coverage and footage broadcast around the world.

It's time to be the bigger person, to forgive and invite the broader community to unite with us in our quest for equality, remembering that the people we are talking about are our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents and friends.

The vision is equality - now is our time to lead by example.

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 18th Nov, 2011

Liamj, do you see that at the same time you are then enforcing your particular identification (or lack thereof) onto others? Is that any more inclusive?

Nikel

Nikel said on the 18th Nov, 2011

With the parade having gotten more chokkas with participants in recent years (it hardly supports their argument that people are 'put off' by th name), I wonder who and what will get bumped in the interests of being more inclusive?
I can see it now: "those political/HIV/community floats just bring people down lets put something fun in instead!"
Oh yeah and will decide one day that it is "too gay" and doesnt reflect proportions of gay/straight in the community. "Oh yeah lets make it only 10% sexually diverse because it's not inclusive enough"

danny corvini

danny corvini said on the 18th Nov, 2011

I don't think you'd take the "Italian" out of the "Italian Film Festival". You can be inclusive while maintaining the traditional name. I think we're set for a repeat of the 1990s when everyone always complained about the number of straights at the party. I don't totally buy that gen Y are so against labels - maybe they're not completely proud yet to be at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras? Be inclusive - but I don't think that this is the way to do it... (In any case, this deserved a LOT more community consultation)..

david_margeaux

david_margeaux said on the 18th Nov, 2011

From another site:
Shelley Argent, from PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), however have welcomed the changes.

%u201CThe renewed focus on inclusion will help me encourage more parents to play a part in the parade,%u201D Argent said.

If the parents she talks about were uncomfortable playing a part in the parade because it contained the words gay and lesbian, then she'll need to advocate that PFLAG change its name and reason for being too I guess? What happened to honouring the very reason for PFLAG's existence, Shelley?

http://www.pflagaustralia.org.au/default.aspx

Why does PFLAG exist?
In Australia today, there are many parents with homosexual children. These children, and often their families are victims of social, political and economic prejudice. Gay persons in many communities are affected by discrimination in theirpursuit of happiness and in striving to live their lives with openness and dignity. Homosexuals are not the only ones touched by this discrimination. It also touches their friends and families. We as parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays wish to join together to appeal to the public conscience. We want to achieve the same rights and opportunities for our gay sons and lesbian daughters as are enjoyed by other Australians. As proud parents of gay people, our lives have been enriched by reaching an understanding and acceptance of our gay children and embracing their diversity. It is our goal to bring this understanding and acceptance of diversity to the community.

There's a whole lot of mentions of gay and lesbian there Shelley, may need to change that .....

hazyinseptember

hazyinseptember said on the 18th Nov, 2011

To help those poor gen-y with label issues and create more 'inclusivity' (TM) PTY LTD. ) we could remove all labels and maybe rename it to "The Sydney Mardi Gras - For those people that do stuff" ?

Phil Kershaw

Phil Kershaw said on the 19th Nov, 2011

Whilst I appreciate that sensationalist journalism sells, it is disappointing to see journalistic integrity fall to the level of talk back radio. Even more annoying is seeing someone of Richard Cobden's calibre twisting facts to contrive illogical conclusions. Whilst I appreciate that such behaviour is not uncommon in Richard's line of work, ridiculous conclusions such as Mardi Gras going straight are not justified and uncalled for. Allegations of appalling ramifications are unfounded. Suggesting that the criteria for inclusion in the Parade has changed is ludicrous.

The reintroduction of Sydney Gay & Lesbian to the name of our company is a great thing, NMG has registered Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras as a Business Name and, subject to members' approval, intend to change the company name from NMG to SGLMG. As far as the Parade goes, people rarely call the event anything else but the Sydney Mardi Gras or simply Mardi Gras. This is not a sell-out by NMG, it is a reflection of reality. Look past the rhetoric and embrace our Parade, Parties and Festival and celebrate being a strong and proud LGBQTI community!

The rebranding is so much more than two words which have been included for the first time since 2001, it is about reinvigoration and a bigger and better celebration of all things LGBQTI!!

I am proud to be a member and director of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

meezon04

meezon04 said on the 19th Nov, 2011

We don't even have basic equal rights yet! It's still a protest! It will become a celebration once we have what those original frontier's I saw at the front of the parade route in 2010 protested for. I still remember the tear rolling down the cheek of the beautiful bike-on-dyke directly in front of where I was stood.

If this becomes mainstream with no sign of anything gay-related in a few years time, then I'll be angry.

TommyBerne

TommyBerne said on the 19th Nov, 2011

There are a lot of people pretty upset with this name change. Perhaps it should be seen as an opportunity? It's not good enough to forget our history, but nor is it good enough to only celebrate Gays and Lesbians to the exclusion of other queer folk.

How about Mardi Gras takes some time to consult with the community around issues that affect us all. Afterall, it's our parade too. We should have a say.

david_margeaux

david_margeaux said on the 19th Nov, 2011

@ Phil Kershaw - if the name change of the festival is a reflection of the reality of how people talk about it, then I guess its ok that we are called faggots and dykes then .... because is this too is a real reflection of how we are referred to in the wider community.

Husky-D

Husky-D said on the 19th Nov, 2011

I think another concern from me about removing "gay & lesbian" from the name is international branding. For people in Australia (and New Zealand probably) we all know that Mardi Gras is about GLBTIQ so it's ok to use "Sydney Mardi Gras" or just "Mardi Gras". However if you're reaching to the international audience, they may not know what Mardi Gras is about. Checking out New Orleans Mardi Gras, it has nothing to do with GLBTIQ.

SGLMG needs to make sure that, in international branding, they send out a strong and clear message that "Sydney Mardi Gras" is about GLBTIQ community, in addition to "inclusive, diverse and infinite love".

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 19th Nov, 2011

OMG, its it is significant!! Im not sure I approve at all. I never liked those straight people at our parties.

I think it was inevitable that the MG drop the g&l labels as it goes mainstream. It is a victim of its own success . All our charming marginal difference has been committeed out of existence.

iCraig2

iCraig2 said on the 19th Nov, 2011

Since 1979 I have seen many decisions made by Mardi Gras. Some have been bad and most have been good. This I would count as monumentally bad. To drop the words Gay & Lesbian is to water down what Mardi Gras stands for and an insult to memory of those who have fought and are still fight discrimination. Are we able to marry who we please? No. Are we still discriminated against and bullied? Yes. Then the fight is not yet over. A few years ago a liberal MP suggested it be changed to just the Sydney Mardi Gras and we all yelled a resounding NO! So what has happened? Have we become pussies? Have we lost our will to fight? Or have we sold out to the corporate dollar? Next they might choose we march under a beige flag so we don%u2019t offend any one. I%u2019m not sure I want to go anymore if its not a Gay & Lesbian event.

Randall679

Randall679 said on the 19th Nov, 2011

OK... In 34 years, I think that everyone knows it's the SYDNEY GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS ... The theme and movement is now about SAME/SAME, equality, inclusion, marriage, equal rights ... so what's it going to be? Do you want your cake and eat it, too? As a straight, married, parent, brother of gay and one of the 70% in favour of equality, I want SAME/SAME ... not SAME/UNLESS-WE-SAY-SO. I feel included in the (New Look) SYDNEY MARDI GRAS.

mark_

mark_ said on the 19th Nov, 2011

^
But don't you have your own exclusive parties, Mr Randall?

Randall679

Randall679 said on the 19th Nov, 2011

Well, then, to be all inclusive, aren't you going to have to call it the SYDNEY GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, INTERSEX, STRAIGHT, CURIOUS, FRED NILE MARDI GRAS? I think that part of becoming a mainstream, publicly supported event is that these are now understood.

mark_

mark_ said on the 19th Nov, 2011

^
Mr Randall, I'm not understanding.

Are you saying that you're a "straight, married, parent, brother of gay and one of the 70% in favour of equality" but you also want to make our gay party less gay to accommodate you. ? ?

trentles

trentles said on the 20th Nov, 2011

Why was it named "New " Mardi Gras, and does that not mean its not the old mardi gras of the 70s and 80s, and differentiated itself from the protests anyway.
I believe if we are moving toward equality in community we need to embrace change also. I am 30, and tend not to go to gay labelled bars too often because to me, there are just bars i could go to. my work colleagues assume I go to gay bars and ask why I would go to straight ones ?
I watched Mardi Gras on TV last year and could not relate to any float or person in the entire parade, and my thoughts were am I different to the rest of the gays?
Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is isolating for some members of the community as it gives a predefinition of what gay is. Mardi Gras often defines the definition of Gay in straight peoples heads.
I welcome the name change and the chance to more inclusive into the community.

Just my two bobs

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 20th Nov, 2011

Trentles, that's a long story, but the basic version from their website says this:

"Despite some warning it came as a huge surprise to many when the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras went into receivership in March 2002. A combination of reduced tourist numbers after September 11th, a tripling of insurance costs and a stubbornly high cost base had sent the organisation into the red.

A group of community organisations intervened at this point to fund a new organisation, New Mardi Gras, to ensure the continuity of the event and to buy the intellectual property from the creditors.

Since 2002 New Mardi Gras has effectively run the key elements of the Mardi Gras season %u2013 a festival of approximately 100 different arts events, a 70,000-person daytime picnic called Fair Day, the Parade Post-Parade Party. It has built up its reputation for running great events."

What it doesn't mention is that originally New Mardi Gras announced that The following season would be named "2003 Sydney Mardi Gras". After a huge community outcry, they changed their mind and since then NMG has presented SGLMG every year to now.

Sound familiar? As the saying goes, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 20th Nov, 2011

Actually, I think SGLMG actually went under in August 2002, so it was a real scramble to get something up and running for the 25th anniversary in 2003.

You can read some of the debate here: http://www.pinkboard.com.au/graffitiarchive/sglmg/mardigras22.html

(yes, we had Internet forums back then too)

trentles

trentles said on the 20th Nov, 2011

ah so the have been there before, low numbers and not making money. maybe they should have kept the Sydney Mardi Gras name back then.
I read in one of the forums on here that people who feel they are not represented in mardi gras should put their hand up an represent themselves. I disagree and by removing the gay and lesbian part of the name it is no longer a blanket representation of the gay community, rather represents those who chose to be part of it.

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 20th Nov, 2011

In any case, I notice their website header has been updated to include the SGLMG logo, and has been added as an intro to the 2 newest videos on their YouTube channel, so they are obviously listening and reacting accordingly.

I'm not sure this satisfies any of the goals of the rebrand though. I guess we'll see how it plays out :)

coast_boy_21

coast_boy_21 said on the 20th Nov, 2011

Personally I don't see what the big issue is, as I have always refered to the Sydney mardi gras as the Sydney mardi gras.

nickdisco

nickdisco said on the 20th Nov, 2011

On Triple J the other day a caller suggested The Sydney MG for Equality.

I have to say that is possibly my favourite suggestion.
Simply calling it Mardi Gras feels like the first step down a path to having a corporate carnival which used to be about the LGBTIQ.

I do agree with some of the debate, I feel Gay and Lesbian alone sends out a statement that we are not unified with the rest of the LGBTIQ.
I am also of the school of thought that sexuality isn't as simple as gay or straight however if we add a letter to our acronym everytime someone identifies differently we are going to run out of number and will have to change to binary.
Personally I like queer, it is non gender or preference specific.
To me queer is a delightfully short way to say I am 76% gay, though I have been known to dabble in heteroville, I am in a polyamorous relationship with a bisexual TAFE student who like bears, I live with a just plain amorous twink and have another housemate who identifies as lesbian but too dabbles and finds F2M trans* particulary delightful.


See why I just say queer.

jamieavenger

jamieavenger said on the 20th Nov, 2011

Gay mainstream culture has often had a problem evolving. I think this is a positive start. However, there is still a huge gap between intent and impact with MG, so it will be interesting to see how the name change impacts imagery and quality of the parade.

It's supposed to be a mainstream event highlighting gay pride and discrimination, yet each year we are bombarded with the same daggy, outdated costumes and themes - the 'glitter, tits and arse' parade ( nothing specifically gay about that except the lack of style), or the attention seeking misogynists who think being gay means you want to be a pretend woman (and we wonder why we continue be ridiculed as effeminate and dysfunctional by homophobes..)

Either way it's embarrassing, insulting and contradicts any notion of the parade as a vehicle for education and for reflecting the reality of being gay and lesbian.

Time for MG to grow up - and the name change is a good start.

mark_

mark_ said on the 20th Nov, 2011


That's a brilliant quote and that's what psychiatrists were saying about us fifty years ago. We were 'oppressed self-hating people' who used drag as a coping mechanism'. They said we would 'abandon those coping mechanisms when we got our freedom', they said.

What astonishes me that kids in the generations since then are still bothering with the active misogyny of drag.

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 21st Nov, 2011

I'm so excited to see people talking about this from both sides of the argument. It shows that people still really care about MG and that it means something to them. I hope that the MG board see it that way, rather than it just being a case of MG bashing. I for one LOVE Mardi Gras, and I always have. That is why I'm so passionate about the issues.

jesseonthebrink

jesseonthebrink said on the 21st Nov, 2011

Before dropping the name, Mardi Gras should drop the tourist-deterring, nanny-state proving, partygoer witch-hunt known as the army of police and phalanx of sniffer dogs choking this event to death.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 21st Nov, 2011

because we are not all gay, do gay men actually ever pay attention to anything outside of GRNDR?

This pisses me off, we scream and shout for years to have more inclusiveness but the gay didnt listen to us. Now MG took away the G&L.

Now you know how we felt.

double standards

Why don't younger people like being labeled with Gay or Lesbian? Is it because they are still discriminated against? Bullied? Is there still a negative connotation by having one of these "labels" attached to you?

I would say yes, that we still have much to do before being labeled as gay or lesbian just indicates who you sleep with and nothing else. Sadly that day is still to come.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 21st Nov, 2011

"or the attention seeking misogynists who think being gay means you want to be a pretend woman (and we wonder why we continue be ridiculed as effeminate and dysfunctional by homophobes..)"

just to make the clear distinction between drag performers and trans people.

just making sure this stereotype is not applied to trans woman.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 21st Nov, 2011

some people it seems still dont get it.

JayTee

JayTee said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

"or the attention seeking misogynists who think being gay means you want to be a pretend woman (and we wonder why we continue be ridiculed as effeminate and dysfunctional by homophobes..)"

just to make the clear distinction between drag performers and trans people.

just making sure this stereotype is not applied to trans woman.


But unfortunately it is.

I've had conversation with fairly progressive people who dont know anything beyond "gay & lesbian".

By removing those words, there'll be even less discussion/visibility for gender diversity because now nothing is being spelt out to the Simple Rorys and they won't bother trying to find out for themselves.

Mardi Gras will just become a tits and ass show where exhibitionists can fulfill their fantasies at the expense of people who genuinely have bigotry and discrimination affect their lives on a daily basis.

JayTee

JayTee said on the 22nd Nov, 2011



I don't think it's Mardi Gras who is bringing the dogs along....

JayTee

JayTee said on the 22nd Nov, 2011



What's the point in having a cake if you can't eat it? (it's such a strange expression).



As a straight, married, parent, brother of gay and one of the 70% in favour of equality, I want SAME/SAME ... not SAME/UNLESS-WE-SAY-SO. I feel included in the (New Look) SYDNEY MARDI GRAS.


Thank you for your support, but I'm sorry, as a straight person you cannot possibly understand the experience of growing up GLBTI in a heterosexist society.

Just like me as a male can't understand what women have to go thru whilst they are growing up and making their way in the world.

There is a reason that the GLBT suicide rate is so high. The bigotry and discrimination that we have to face on a daily basis is something you will never experience in the same way.

We need a place for ourselves to be able to express our experiences in a positive manner.

Thinking that this is all about some vague notion of "equality" negates the fact that it will NEVER be equal in our lifetime.

The experiences we have had to live through affect our personalities and leave scars on our life and in our psyche. This is something you as a straight person can never understand.

Yes you can support us, but you can never truly understand the experience we have lived through.

Brightbear

Brightbear said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

Damn, screwed up the posting of comment above.

Anyway, I think it's a good name change. Mardi Gras is not going 'straight' it's just shortening its name. As a bisexual, I'm happy with that. I don't think "Gay and lesbian" is inclusive enough but having an alphabet soup (LGBTIQ) doesn't sound quite right, either.

Everybody knows what Mardi Gras is, and I don't think that's going to change.

brendonandmichael

brendonandmichael said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

Who the f*ck called it Sydney Mardi Gras??? No one I knew - It was Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to make a point - bad move - so don't support the change! Lets hope the next board change the name back!

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

your still not getting it, I guess its obvious now why getting trans visibility is very hard work.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

wow i have never read so much belly aching in my life, again shoe other foot.

Be inclusive.


I first marched in 96, I know trans people that have been around since 78 and earlier. How much longer would you like us to wait before you decide its ok to include us wholeheartedly. Another 10 years?

some of your comments are very disappointing and lack empathy for anyone outside your own narrow labels.

to the people who get it <3 thankyou for including us, we waited a long time and have always been here and we will carry the MG cause like we always have.


(-.-)

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

"or the attention seeking misogynists who think being gay means you want to be a pretend woman (and we wonder why we continue be ridiculed as effeminate and dysfunctional by homophobes..)"

just to make the clear distinction between drag performers and trans people.

just making sure this stereotype is not applied to trans woman.

Datkindagal when I was arguing against Drag earlier this year I did say that Drag culture impacts on Transgender, Intersex and Gender diverse folk since drag reinforces the belief that Trans people are just pantomime dames and not real people with their real gender. This is due to most people cannot differentiate between a drag queen, transsexual or Transgender etc.... and a lot of drag performers I find play on this fact and it's clearly a form of transphobia.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

I know i often get squealed at, cringe

please dont squeal at me or touch my breasts without my permission. :)

and no you cant see my tuppaware.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOjeZnjKlp0

HaresHyenas

HaresHyenas said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

What do you think? Post your comment...

blaah

blaah said on the 22nd Nov, 2011

Bad move "Sydney Mardi Gras"! What are you thinking? I would have no problem if the change had been to rainbow Mardi Gras to represent Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and Intersex, but that's not what's happened.
Dropping "Gay and Lesbian" from the name is an insult to the community. The board should resign immediately!

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 23rd Nov, 2011

the polls seem to be telling a story

DavoJimbo

DavoJimbo said on the 24th Nov, 2011

I think they want someone other than Dykes on Bikes to open the parade. I heard they had asked the Wiggles.

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 24th Nov, 2011

The Wiggles :)

that would end their career !

DavoJimbo

DavoJimbo said on the 24th Nov, 2011

I heard they wanted to do away with Dykes on Bikes and have asked the Wiggles to open the parade.

Barrin

Barrin said on the 24th Nov, 2011



The name change is meant to appeal to the young but not that young I hope! :eek:

Phazz

Phazz said on the 24th Nov, 2011

The party is still 18+ so i doubt they could get in anyway..

JayTee

JayTee said on the 24th Nov, 2011



I don't know about that.

Perhaps straight women might smuggle them in whilst they haven't been born yet, and then do a performance piece as the 2am show in the RHI by giving birth, thus allowing under 18s to get into the party?

cheekychiko

cheekychiko said on the 25th Nov, 2011

The name of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras should not be changed, especially to the politically correct name 'Sydney Mardi Gras' until Australian LGBTI citizens have Equal Civil and Human Rights across the board in every State and Territory.

Historically the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras is acknowledged as one of the worlds most significant Civil and Human Rights protests.
Re-branding the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardis Grad with the PC title 'Sydney Mardis Gras' before Australian LGBTI citizens have Equal Civil and Human Rights completely contradicts and demeans the intention of the cause,
insults the 78ers efforts and diminishes the meaning of the protest and its history.

Updating the marketing of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras brand in order to ensure its commercial success is sound business practice.
Though the true weight of this issue does not lie within the frame work of marketing and advertising, the re-branding of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras raises a deeper issue: Cultural Assimilation.

Is LGBTI culture truly evolving by being assimilated into mainstream culture?

Or by re-branding itself to a PC title, is Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras opening itself up to Censorship and Cultural Appropriation?

Is it socially progressive to remove the LGBTI content from title of an Iconic Gay Cultural Event that celebrates the most significant protest in the history of the Australian LBGTI Civil Rights movement?

In a Democracy that respects and honours Cultural Diversity and LGBTI Civil and Human Rights...
What exactly is not inclusive about the definitions 'Gay and Lesbian' and 'LGBTI'?

mattsie

mattsie said on the 25th Nov, 2011

I don't see how removing the words Gay and Lesbian from the title includes trans, bisexual, intersex, queer etc people. To quote a friend "For perspective, Anzac Day is not only commemorative of Anzacs, but all those 'who served and died in military operations for their countries'. Shall we change its name to something more inclusive too?"

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 25th Nov, 2011

still dont get it

The name of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras should not be changed, especially to the politically correct name 'Sydney Mardi Gras' until Australian LGBTI citizens have Equal Civil and Human Rights across the board in every State and Territory.

Historically the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras is acknowledged as one of the worlds most significant Civil and Human Rights protests.
Re-branding the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardis Grad with the PC title 'Sydney Mardis Gras' before Australian LGBTI citizens have Equal Civil and Human Rights completely contradicts and demeans the intention of the cause,
insults the 78ers efforts and diminishes the meaning of the protest and its history.

Updating the marketing of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras brand in order to ensure its commercial success is sound business practice.
Though the true weight of this issue does not lie within the frame work of marketing and advertising, the re-branding of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras raises a deeper issue: Cultural Assimilation.

Is LGBTI culture truly evolving by being assimilated into mainstream culture?

Or by re-branding itself to a PC title, is Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras opening itself up to Censorship and Cultural Appropriation?

Is it socially progressive to remove the LGBTI content from title of an Iconic Gay Cultural Event that celebrates the most significant protest in the history of the Australian LBGTI Civil Rights movement?

In a Democracy that respects and honours Cultural Diversity and LGBTI Civil and Human Rights...
What exactly is not inclusive about the definitions 'Gay and Lesbian' and 'LGBTI'?

Ski Girl

Ski Girl said on the 28th Nov, 2011

Sydney Mardi Gras Pride Parade. Problem solved. We are all included and we haven't sold out to the homophobes.

JayTee

JayTee said on the 29th Nov, 2011



Geez, that was an easy solution.

Why did it take someone with only one post to their name to come up with it??

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 16th Feb, 2012

Watching this clip from FAST FORWARD of what a Straight Mardi Gras would look like, makes me think we have in fact become our own worst nightmare?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19HYauZ0Dkc

vinegar tits

vinegar tits said on the 18th Feb, 2012

mardi gras is tolerant of gays hopefully that wont change. :D

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 18th Feb, 2012

sack the entire committee, but this time dont replace them with their mates.....like last time. I was there. What a sham.

Marko

Marko said on the 19th Feb, 2012

I think the idea of the name retaining the Gay and Lesbian parts, is part of it's history. I think it should obviously retain the link to the LGBTI community, because without the community, the parade and celebrations wouldn't even exist.

MrAsh

MrAsh said on the 19th Feb, 2012

I was all for the name change. Yet learning about the machinations of the Mardi Gras organisation from board level to volunteers over the last few months has made me really reconsider. Also I've come to acknowledge there is still a lot of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia out there and it's way to premature to relegate the 'Gay and Lesbian' to the backburner.

At the same time the Mardi Gras organisation should really be more supportive of non-cis people and also bisexuals. They really have supported the organisation and the parade/party over MANY years and really need acknowledgement, recognition and inclusion.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 19th Feb, 2012

agreed I think the G&L is partly to blame for this. Its time to queer up.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 19th Feb, 2012

what ever we decide in the future it must be inclusive and representative of our infinitely diverse GLB and TIGD communities.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 19th Feb, 2012

its time for the current board to GO

bluestocking

bluestocking said on the 3rd Mar, 2012

G & L etc Mardi Gras has never represented all gay people. Some of us are uncomfortable that this is how the straight community thinks gay people are or gets the idea it represents all gay sexuality. It does not. Some of us would rather drop dead then prance about in a tutu with our bits hanging out and yet we're trying to put across that we're normal as anyone else in order to get equality in lots of areas. Just make it a party I say - the next generation is not labelling itself anything, thank goodness, and we'll all be left to peace and quiet and equal rights next gen hopefully. In the meantime, if you want a big party - not in the name of rights for me thanks as it is counterproductive and damaging for some of us - just have a party. Or else make it a proper protest parade and we can all turn out in whatever represents us in our everyday lives, without the bits hanging out. If you don't care about rights cos you only want a big flashy party and your whole life is bound up in this stuff, then I resent it. No labels and equal rights is what some of us want. And a big party for everyone if it has to be public - hang your bits out in your own private party at least until we're ALL recognised with equal rights.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 4th Mar, 2012

yup Monumental SMG FAIL

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