It didn’t quite sink�in�for me that I was�at Sydney’s Mardi Gras Parade for�a second time, while i walked down from Liverpool Street to Oxford Street, until�I saw all the rainbow flags, feathers and sequins, Drag Kings and Queens, Thai lady boys, Japanese in gay Kimonos, Brokeback Mountain wannabes, cowgirls, the lesbian moms and gay dads, friends, families, couples in all shapes, sizes, nationalities�and sexualities.�They�were�all geared up and ready to celebrate the one event that spells diversity and pride.�
The last�I heard, close to 650,000 Sydney-siders and tourists�assembled on this�Pride�day to�see, laugh, dance and prance the night away.��And seeing them with my own eyes, I was�truly impressed.
Meanwhile, my gf and I�squeezed past�the crowds with our own blue milk crates (to stake out a place and to stand on), our backpacks filled with water for the long wait and gigantic pizzas from a tiny shop run by lesbians.
We could feel the air buzzing with excitement; aromas from food outlets; entrepreneurs yelling at the top of�their voices for customers to�buy their gay-everything and pounding diva music coming from the pubs and clubs along the street.�
We�drank in the sensory stimulation�along the way until we saw a few of the very pathetic self-righteous religious homophobes holding up their placards, calling�all�glbtq to ‘repent their vile ways’.� I felt like showing them my middle finger but “oh no,�I won’t do that”.� It would have�been the most unglam thing to do�on Oxford Street, especially when nobody else gave a hoot�to 5 idiots out of 650,000 enlightened ones.
So we held each other’s hands and skipped happily down Oxford Street to wait�for�7:45pm to arrive.�
Finally the night started with hundreds of Dykes on Bikes roaring and burning their engines along the way.� We shared our spot with two nice Japanese girls, and�a few young monkey-like straight men dangling on top of the traffic light lamposts dying to see some topless bull dykes.� My partner was screaming at the top of her�lungs and waving her�rainbow flag furiously�as the Mardi Gras parade rolled past with the different segments of the community proudly marching through.� Under bursts of fireworks, we watched the volunteer clubs, the bisexuals, the gay moms and dads, Bear (ie. chub) Pride, Leather Pride, MAG (Mature Age Gays), Asian troupes, Transgenders, Intersex, Aids help, counseling, gay Policemen and women, gay firefighters, Politicians in support, workers unions, gay rugby clubs, sailing clubs, PFLAG, CFLAG (C for celebrities), choirs, bands; I can’t remember all�the different groups making their way down the whole stretch for�two hours!� Having so many of the glbtq�in all forms, shapes and ages together is something of a mind blowing experience.
The defining moment for me was when I noticed the silence from my other half�and turned around to look at her.� And there she was, tearing at the noise and sight of it all.� I patted her gently and asked her why.� She said that it’s because she knows we’ll probably never have our very own Mardi Gras here in Singapore, not at the rate we’re going.� I forced a smile back at her and�turned away quickly before she can see my own tears welling up.� It was a bit too much to think about rights, oppression and pride for now.�
But heck, I told�her and myself that we hadn’t come all the way not�to enjoy it.� We’re going to be proud, we’re going to dance, shake and�scream�with snot, tears, laughter and all. And that’s just what we did.