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Hundreds of thousands of spectators celebrate gay pride at Sydney Mardi Gras

Sunday, March 3, 2013

SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia — An estimated 10,000 revelers marched along side 115 floats on Saturday in the annual gay pride parade that celebrates Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia.

The annual event — which traces its origins in a 1978 protest march — attracted more than 300,000 spectators who stood beside politicians, military personnel and other supporters of the Australian LGBT community.

An equal marriage rights float moves up the street during the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, March 3, 2012.
Photo: Rob Griffith, AP

Parade participants called “Dykes on Bikes” take their traditional place at the head of the Mardi Gras Parade.
Photo: Rick Rycroft, AP

Parade participants celebrate Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, March 2, 2013.
Photo: Rick Rycroft, AP

A parade participant wears an elaborate headpiece during Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, March 2, 2013.
Photo: Rick Rycroft, AP

The theme for this year’s parade was “Generations of Love,” and many of those who took part in the first Sydney Mardi Gras 35 years ago were present. Crowds lined Sydney’s Oxford Street to enjoy the parade as dancers in flamboyant costumes and brightly colored floats moved past.

The annual event, which contributed an estimated $30 million to the local economy — second only to the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks show — also had a largely political message.

With 2013 an election year in Australia, many are calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized in the country.

“Sydney Mardi Gras is well known as a good time, but it’s so much more than a street parade,” said Mardi Gras co-chair Peter Urmson. “It’s what we do to continue the struggle against discrimination and inequality as it impacts on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people.”

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8 more reader comments:

  1. I know 2 hot Aussie girls ;)

    Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 3:20pm
  2. Go Aussie LGBTQ!! :)

    Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 3:27pm
  3. I REALLY wish participants in gay pride events would STOP re-enforcing stereotypes.

    Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 3:57pm
  4. When many people believe we are sexual deviants and freaks, it doesn’t exactly help our cause when they see topless women on motorcycles, men making out in their S & M outfits, etc. Just something to think about…

    Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 4:00pm
  5. Its attitudes like that that keep people in the closet and full of shame. The LGBTQ community is made of many different people. Embracing our diversity and enjoying each other is the essence of pride and support within our community.

    Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 4:22pm
  6. your part of the lgbt community as are all cisgenders, inclusion should be the byword not exclusion rachael and using the word freaks is both homophobic and transphobic so please stop insulting people by the way they dress, or the outlook they express, your comments show just how phobic the lgbt community still is about their own humanity

    Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 4:42pm
  7. yay!

    Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 5:04pm
  8. that is kind of like saying ” i don’t mind you being gay, just act str8 in public” YES I AM TALKING TO YOU RACHEL KRENEK!

    Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 5:31pm