Saturday, March 09, 2013

Mardi Gras 2013 !

image via
Every year, Sydney throws the most incredible Mardi Gras festival in celebration of LGBT rights.  It's a week long celebration full of parties, picnics and all around tomfoolery, but the Pièce de résistance is the Mardi Gras Parade which closes off the festival in such an amazing way. This year, I was lucky enough to join the Hoopaholics in the parade.
Hoopaholic booties
It was BEYOND. The last time I marched in a parade was in high school, where I had a brief stint in colorguard twirling flags to marching band music. So I thought I knew what I was getting into... but this.. this  was nothing like that.  The atmosphere was electric.  As my friends and I joined the Hoopers in line, hula hoop in hand, all my worries about not being as good as these professional seeming hoopstars melted away. The music was blaring, everyone was dressed in bright colors and everyone just seemed so excited. I didn't have time to be worried, I was way too busy having a good time, plus the 4 glasses of wine I had prior were starting to kick in. hah

Liz workin' that hoop!
When the parade kicked off, we made our way down Oxford & Crown streets, and I got my first look at the tons of people lining the sidewalks. CUH-RAY-ZEE. There were a lot of hoopers around me, so there wasn't much room for everyone to properly hula hoop. Unphased, I took to spinning it around my arm and giving kisses and high fives to the crowd. Not sure why they wanted to high five or even kiss me in the first place, but hey who am I to turn them down?  The feeling in the crowd and throughout the parade was fantastic. There was so much love and happiness in the air.  Everyone just seemed to be in such a good mood, and I knew that the LGBT community who deserve more than a parade, were so happy to be united and celebrating.

As someone who strongly believes in equal rights for all and the importance of supporting the LGBTQQI community, it felt so incredible to do my small part in showing solidarity with them by being part of the parade. Yes, hula hooping down Crown St didn't do anything life changing for the community, but it's not about that. It's about showing support. By being in this parade, I felt like I was screaming at the top of my lungs, I am here because I support you and your community. Your rights are important! Because they are.  And while the parade was one big, silly party, it didn't start out as that. It started with a much smaller group of people who decided to make a statement that said we are here and we want to be heard. 

 As they should.

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