Sunday, March 05, 2006

Fat Saturday

I didn't even realize it was Fat Tuesday last week because Sydneysiders (that's what they call themselves) have decided to wait until the weekend after to celebrate Mardi Gras. Maybe it's a little unorthodox to celebrate after Lent has already started, but their celebration is a little unorthodox in itself--it's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

It was pretty incredible how many people turned out for the parade on Saturday evening. While gay pride parades in the US seem to attract very few straight people, Mardi Gras in Sydney is an event for everyone. There were families, tourists, and people of every background that I could imagine. It was hard to ignore the irony that the city so openly welcomes the parade but still won't grant basic civil rights to gays and lesbians, but I'd like to think that the acceptance of the parade is a start.

We got to Oxford Street a little later than we wanted to, meaning we couldn't see very well, but it was well worth the neck strain. The parade itself of course did not rival the fun and excess of Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, but everything was highly political which made for some great floats. I think my favourite (see, I am starting to write like an Australian) was the "Friends of Dick Cheney," mostly because of the conversation I overheard as it passed by:

Australian 1: Who's Dick Cheney?
Australian 2: He's that guy who shot someone when he was quail hunting.
Australian 1: Oh yeah. Stupid Americans.



Adrian said...

we are still reading, so keep it coming girl!

jennifer said...

And wouldn't it be nice if old Dick was as far away as Oz. That was a great comment, lol.