Though I never made it to the street parade this year, and I didn’t get to see Cher perform at two o’clock in the morning (or something stupid like that), I have some wonderful memories of this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Going back to the very beginning, I was very pleased to be invited to attend the premiere screening of the film, “Riot”, which in a docu-drama, tells the story of the events leading up to the first ever Mardi Gras. “Many of the 78ers can’t talk to me”, one of the NSW police attending the premiere said, in reference to the entrapment and police violence which occurred in 1978. I thought the film was very good, capturing the emotion, the humour, the politics and the people of the time.
I also went to premiere screening of the film, “Black Divaz” produced by my friend, Michaela. The film tells the story of a handful of people who participated in the first national Indigenous drag contest, “Miss First Nations”, held in Darwin last year. The film told some powerful stories of some amazing men. Last night, we went to the re-opening of The Imperial Hotel, and some of the Black Divaz performed there also.
I went to a few films at the Mardi Gras Film Festival, actually. And my friend Graeme and I went to Fair Day. But beyond that, not much else.
And though I didn’t go the parade this year (I’m not one for big crowds anymore), I went for a walk up the street last night to take in a bit of the atmosphere, and to see the big clean up. By this time, there were more police on the street than gays. Thankfully, in a different frame of mind to 1978.