Commentary

Sydney should host World Pride in 2023 because Australia stands for equality

Mardi Gras in Sydney in 2016
Mardi Gras in Sydney in 2016Photo: Shutterstock

Sydney is ready to welcome the world to our great city and bring the world’s focus to LGBTQ Human Rights in our region and that’s why we are bidding for World Pride in 2023.

In an unprecedented show of support and solidarity all levels of government, LGBTQ organizations, and corporate Australia are united in backing Sydney Mardi Gras’s bid for this historic opportunity, which would be a first for our region and the southern hemisphere.

Related: NYC releases ‘The L-Word’ limited-edition collector’s item for World Pride

Despite being home to some of the world’s most famous pride celebrations and successful and developing human rights campaigns, World Pride has never been held any further south than Jerusalem, and never in the Asia Pacific Region. Let’s hope this is about to change with prides, pop stars and politicians all supporting the bid.

World Pride is not just an amazing celebration, it’s about making a real difference. In the recent World Prides in Madrid and New York a major focus at human rights conferences was changing the lives of LGBTQ people in need. In the Asia-Pacific region that need is great.

Throughout our region homosexuality is still a criminal offense in many places, anti-discrimination protections do not exist for our communities, the trans and gender diverse communities are intensely vilified, and access to vital health care needs are still sadly limited in so many places.

The good news is, we have seen success when the world works with Australia to make a difference. Recently, the first Asian country to achieve marriage equality was Taiwan. Their marriage equality coalition was led by the most inspiring and dedicated campaigners, and Australian Marriage Equality and Freedom to Marry from the USA were on the groups in Taiwan to support them to success. We continue to collaborate and work with campaigns from Japan to Thailand.

Australia also has a proud record of calling out human rights abuses in our region and also providing financial aid for HIV and AIDS programs. But we don’t know it all, and always need help and invite the world down under to take vital efforts for the LGBTQ community in our region to the next level.

While you are here, we will make sure you have a great time. Sydney is a city on many people’s bucket list and when people visit they fall in love it (and sometimes also with a Sydneysider).

Sydney continues to shine and by 2023 our city will be better than ever. Not only will World Pride supercharge our famous Mardi Gras Festival, our government has a new strategic focus on our night-time economy from dining to live music venues and nightclubs. World class public transport is being rolled out to get you around our city effortlessly.  A new international destination art museum, The Sydney Modern, is currently being built, and our beautiful beaches and national parks will continue to be the best possible place to rest and recharge.

World Pride in Sydney in 2023 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference and have amazing time, and if we win, everyone is invited.

More information on the bid is available at  https://www.mardigras.org.au/worldpride

Alex Greenwich MP is the Member for Sydney in Australia’s NSW Parliament. For over a decade he lead Australia’s marriage equality campaign to success and as co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality currently helps countries in the Asia-pacific region campaign for the freedom to marry. He is also the co-author of “Yes Yes Yes: Australia’s Journey to Marriage Equality”.  

Frank Kameny devoted his life to fighting for gay rights. He lived to see the end of DADT.

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