I know I have said some fairly negative things about Mardi Gras in the begining of this Thread. But I have learned a lot from the stories of others.
I still believe that Mardi Gras will always feed the stereotypes that the media then present to the public. I know that there are plenty of people who dress up in gear they would never wear on a regular weekend out, and I struggle to see how that is giving a person a stronger sense of self.
I personally am not interested in the crouds either. I love to attend Hillsong Conference, but haven’t been in the past few years because of the huge amount of people. NYE under the Sydney Harbour Bridge this year was crazy and it took over an hour to walk home because catching a train ment a two hour wait.
But I think I have become more nutral about it. I personally would not like to march at this point in my life, but I’m learning to ‘never say never’. As you read storied of people’s coming out and different pathways to personal freedom, you realise that it is such a complex thing.
I don’t need Mardi Gras to make me feel proud of who I am, or as an outlet for freedom. I don’t see my self as an activist, though I am not passive to the ill treatment of anyone. I think that is a humanitarian thing. If Mardi Gras helps someones journey, they should go. But for me it’s not a focus. And I guess the dialogue I had with Anthony that preceded this Thread was out of annoyance that I was being sent so much stuff insisting on going and getting behind it.
I am glad that Freedom 2 B marched, but we all need to realise that just because we are gay, doesn’t mean we are all going to go to exclusivly gay clubs or bars, seek out gay holiday resorts, pic up gay magazines or link to gay websites. This is the only gay website community I am a part of, and glad to be, at that.
We don’t all need to march in Mardi Gras. As already stated, even voting polls that come out unanimous ‘yes’ haven’t changed policies on gay marriage. Perhaps a big show of people in a parade doesn’t eaither? I don’t know. Change takes time.
I look at it in a similar way to the way I celebrate Christmas and Easter. I my personal faith, these dates signify Birth and Death of my Lord, yet in the world have lost their meaning. I don’t celebrate them or fight for their cause in April and December, but everyday. I hope that I can make a difference for the cause of Christ by being a friend to someone today, not just next weekend.
This is not a judgment on the people at Mardi Gras. It is not the only time of the year where people are fighting for equality, but what I’m saying is that I am not sentimental about a prarade because of where it started. I have come to the conclusion, that I must learn about it’s histroy becuase of the people who sacrificed their own freedom for mine.
I should be remembering them in my day to day life, and aspiring to be like them in spirit. It is their consciousness and something deep within them that caused them to rise up in that manner. But do we know of the things they did that were equaly as heroic but less public before the first march?
I believe there is a hero in all of us. And I believe we can all make a difference whether we march or not. Keep all doors open for people to find their place in community, but don’t make any one of them a stronger focus than any other.