Anthony Albanese becomes the first sitting Australian PM to march in the Mardi Gras parade.

Sequined revellers have cheered Anthony Albanese as he strode along Sydney's Oxford Street as the first sitting Prime Minister to march in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Albanese led the Rainbow Labor NSW float with his partner Jodie, along with other notable figures from the Labor Party on Saturday night. And they were met with cheers from the crowd - because it was a show of solidarity that until last night, had not been shown by the Australian Government. 

Since 1978, the Mardi Gras parade has celebrated and pushed for equality within the LGBTQIA+ community. And this year alongside Sydney hosting WorldPride, the parade had hundreds of thousands of people watching from home, thousands on the street, and 12,500 participants. 

And it was quite the event. 

But this wasn't Albanese's first Mardi Gras. Far from it in fact.

Watch Anthony Albanese marching in Mardi Gras. Story continues below.

Video via 9News.

Albanese first began marching in the 1980s, saying this year's event was his 35th attending. 


"It's unfortunate that I am the first (Prime Minister to march), but this is a celebration of modern Australia. We're a diverse, inclusive Australia and that's a good thing," he told an ABC broadcast as he marched. 

"People want to see that their government is inclusive and represents everyone, no matter who they love, no matter what their identity, no matter where they live. We need to be a country that respects everyone for who they are."

It marked a huge milestone for the LBTGQIA+ community as well, said Micah Scott - the chief executive of Minus 18, a charity that supports queer youth.

"It sends a message to the rest of the country that our community is valid and that our community matters to the government. It's especially important for our young people watching on."


Albanese also said partygoers needed to pay tribute to the 78ers, the Mardi Gras' first marchers, "who were thrown in jail for the simple fact of who they were because they happened to be gay or lesbian".

"In the decades since, people dedicated their lives toward the campaign for equality. We need to continue to argue for equality."

Albanese is certainly not the first world leader to have taken part in a pride parade, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his former New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, leading the way. But as a fellow Mardi Gras participant, Lisa Anderson, noted to SBS, this is an incredibly positive step in the right direction for Australia's Government.

"It's pretty amazing. We used to have senior political figures condemning pride but now everyone is joining in. You can hear everybody is happy."

Feature Image: AAP.

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