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.