'If you think marriage equality means we don't need Mardi Gras anymore, think again.'


How many times have you been to a wedding where there’s a gay guy in the bridal party or a lesbian as “best man”?

The amount of weddings I’ve attended in my day would put 27 Dresses to shame! For too long we have been the bridesmaids, never the brides, but the times they are a changing my friends!

Here we are – marriage equality has landed in Australia. It came in with a hiss and a roar on the back of what feels like months of protests, arguments, begging, counter arguments, posters saying YES in windows and pamphlets saying NO delivered to homes – but when the day came, Australians made their voices heard and finally it’s our time!

It’s time for the rainbow community to put a ring on it! We as a community will now have the opportunity to participate in something our cis friends and family have taken for granted for many years. We can now propose to our “partners”, marry them legally and if we choose, down the line, we can even divorce them!

"During Mardi Gras this year, I’ll be rocking out to Cher. Image: Supplied.

That’s right, something as simple as divorcing a partner is not something we could ever do….it just doesn't carry the same weight saying; “I’ve broken up with my girlfriend” as saying; “My wife and I are divorcing”. My wife and I aren’t divorcing though - not as far as I know HA!

I never thought I’d get married, regardless of sexual preference. But once I met Julie, my wife, she was quite keen on getting married ‘someday’ so once it became legal in New Zealand I had to start saving for a ring pronto!

Looking back I think, of course we needed to get married, we have a mortgage, a dog, two kids and a very confusing CD collection. The stability that that piece of paper brought is quite a secure feeling that I didn’t think I’d have.

My hope is that everyone who wants to get married CAN! Marriage equality is such a great thing and also sort of embarrassing that it took so long for us to get it. However, make no mistake, equality does not mean acceptance.

To everyone who thinks that discriminating against the LGBTQI community is a thing of the past, think again. That’s why I think it’s so important to have Mardi Gras - to celebrate a community that is so often discriminated against, bullied and in some cases killed.

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If you find yourself mid-eye roll thinking ‘homophobia is not a thing anymore!’- because I hear that from people - I need you to hear me when I say it’s still very well and very alive. My neighbours made their wifi name NO-GAYS.


When my other neighbour asked them to change it because it’s offensive, they changed it to Leviticus 20:13 which is the verse in the bible where they talk about ‘if a man lies with another man like with a woman…’ you get it.

My neighbours are total and complete assholes, which is their choice, but their daughter goes to school with my daughter and they spread their hate to their kids which is extremely sad.

That’s another generation that will hate if they don’t manage to think for themselves. Also, it really ties my hands (and mouth) because I can’t say anything. Because it won’t be nice and you can’t argue a point with these people and I cannot give them the finger because then it just plays into their hand that all gays are heathens!

So we are at a crossroads…but this is where it’s great to have a wife that understands me very well and knows how to calm me down and make sure I leave the hateful neighbours with their bible bashing ways (who are not married and have six children out of wedlock) alone and get on with my life….. also I’ve changed our wifi password to BeaverEater - not very mature but it makes me feel better.

Also, during Mardi Gras this year (that those neighbours won’t be attending) I’ll be rocking out to Cher, so suck it neighbours.

The 40th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras airs on Sunday, 4th March at 8.30pm on SBS.

Urzila Carlson will tour STUDIES HAVE SHOWN to Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Lismore, Gold Coast & Caloundra from March to June. For complete tour and ticket information, visit:

Do you agree with Urzila? Is Mardi Gras still important in 2018 now Australia has legalised marriage equality?