Great to read this
Thanks for posting – and my apologies for being so slow to respond after asking what it was like – somehow I missed this thread,,,,,,
Its a great feeling to walk up oxford street and to affirmed in your sexuality and to see the size and diversity of our support and community – and to have family – parents or siblings or friends marching there is incredibly healing and validating.
Its something i would like to see everyone consider doing once – even though its a scary prospect the first time.
Doubly so because the impression people get of mardi gras being all almost naked dance men is so wrong – and most of it is quite tame and conists of great community groups like us, pflag and many others, and organisations like the police and businesses like the banks – and so they arent what you see on the news. So going (to march OR to watch) give a sense of how distorted the image is that is used to condemn the LGBTIQQ community.
It IS a very tiring day although spare a thought for the 000s of volunteers that make it possible. They are there at the parade setting up and marshalling and handling the crowd and doing 00ś of things you wouldnt realise to make it all happen smoothly – and some go on to the after party. I didnt march this year because my Volunteer shift started at 5 AM at the party (which means I get there there at 4 AM to look around and get my bearings and work out where all the things I need for my shift are – like Medical etc
and then I finished at 6:30 PM – at Toy Box – also helping out at another party in between…. I personally was exhausted on the monday and All i did was walk around making sure people were OK (for 13.5 hours)
And the F2B volunteers who put the mardi gras together do a great job …. theres a lot behind the scenes registration and organisation and logistics and attending briefings etc… and it seems they did their usual fantastic Job ! (well done Guys !)
So thanks for posting – and for anyone who marched and hasnt posted yet – it would be great to hear from you – especially if its your first time !!