Sydney’s throwing a huge party in my honour tonight. It’s been 10 weeks since I moved my family over and I can understand the city is very excited to have me here.
What’s that, you say? Mardi Gras is not about me?
Well, that sounds strange. But still, it’s a massive event with music and dancing and glitter and happiness and there’s no way I’d ever miss it. And I’m taking my 10-year-old son with me. Even though we’re not a rainbow family. Even though I’m straight. But I’ve thought very carefully about it beyond me just wanting to have a good time and saving on a babysitter.
So if you’re wondering if you can take your kids to Mardi Gras, here are the reasons why I definitely am:
He’s already aware gay people exist.
I’m lucky enough to call one of the best guys in the whole world a friend of mine, and my son has been raised with him in his life. Not as his ‘gay uncle’. Just as a person.
When the marriage equality vote happened, my kid said to me, “What’s the big deal mum, a boy loves a boy and a girl loves a girl, like literally, it doesn’t matter.” Because that’s how I’ve raised him – to respect people as people.
Especially when they party.
The 5 stages of voting:1. Intense pleasure at being part of making history with, and for, the next generation.2….
He can handle the adulting.
The kid’s seen a butt in a g-string before. He’s seen people without pants. And I’m not talking about at home. I’m talking about with strangers. Because he’s been to an Australian beach.
Has he seen two men kissing? No. Oh, except for on his favourite show – Modern Family. So I think he’ll be fine.
It’s an historic Mardi Gras.
Not only is this is the first Mardi Gras since marriage equality legislation was passed in Australia, it’s also the 40th anniversary of the first parade held in 1978.
The original group that’s now known as ‘The ’78ers” marched on Oxford Street bravely revelling in their sexuality – and meeting violent resistance from the police. In the clash that ensured, 53 of the ’78ers were arrested. The next morning, the media publicly outed many of them. Some of them lost their jobs.
It was a very dark moment in LGBTQI history, and yet, the group persisted. The Mardi Gras is now the biggest party event in Australia, every year.
My workmate, and superstar, Adam Bub
Mardi Gras is not just supported by the LBGTQI community.
I support Mardi Gras. I respect the LGBTQI community. And it will be wonderful for my son to see that most people and areas of society do, too.
My workmate at Mamamia, Adam Bub, will be in a float tonight, and he told me about how diverse they are this year. You can check out them out here. The floats include everything from the iconic Dykes on Bikes, to the huge, joyous Rainbow Families floats, and even a Taronga Zoo float.
Adam also pointed out that there are some of the big corporations with their own floats, such as ANZ, Holden, Qantas, and Tinder, just to name a few. It’s a hard-won respect and representation that the community has earned, and it’s really important for my son to understand how far things have come.
It’s a rainbow reminder that I’ll always be OK with whoever my kid is, and whomever he’s friends with.
I’m just a normal mum, who thinks her kid’s the greatest thing since The Oprah Winfrey Show. It’s so important to me that he never forgets that he always has my acceptance, because I’m a cool, non-judgey mom. And also because he can’t offend me with his mere existence.
I’ll look like the coolest parent ever.
My son will always remember the we partied together at Australia’s biggest party. And hopefully he’ll tell everyone about the cool mum he’s so lucky to have, for many decades to come.
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