What do you think about Mardi Gras? (2007)

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Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
February 28, 2007, 11:02

good point craig……we will be discussing this on Friday at our meeting. mardi gras is what it is to each individual……for some it is an opportunity to express that there are no limits to revealing thier sexuality…….for most though I think its a statement of pride……..i know it is for me……and I think I have a lot to be proud of.

Joined in 2007
March 5, 2007, 10:39

I don’t “do” Mardi Gras (or Feast as is SA’s equivalent) just as I don’t “do” Church. (Both camps use that language…I’m just using it now to be a little facetious). You get rejected by one camp as you still have your foot in the other (gay because you’re a Christian; Church because you’re gay)…just so you know where my headspace is.

I’m all for the concept of the Mardi Gras and it’s orgins, but there are many facets of the events which reinforce stereotypes etc – some of which the media doesn’t have to to focus on specifically. Being proud of who you are and marching is fine and good and I admire those who can do that. That in itself is not for me, I’m a fairly shy and reserved person and am affirmed for who I am within my own community of friends, work (not so much family, but we’re working on that). Which in itself I guess could be seen as “marching my own parade”.

I agree that the Mardi Gars is not all clubbing, drug taking and all – but let’s admit that that is the market where the majority of the advertising and events are aimed at. How is that helpful for those confused/in the closet? How does that support those people? (That is a question I’m putting out, hey, I’m trying to work it out…)

Joined in 2006
March 5, 2007, 11:32

Leatherboi, no one has all the answers, be helpful if someone did have all the answers on earth wouldnt it? wink Its great to hear that you have support and are affirmed by those around you and yeh parents can take a while. We are all at different places and where we feel comfortable and that is great. Acceptance of even that is a big thing.

The one thing I will say regarding how Mardi Gras can be helpful for those still in the closet, is the fact that because “of” mardi gras, a support group like Freedom2b has gotten public exposure, so those who are closeted and just watch the parade got a chance to see that their is a place they can come to like this one and open up anonymously and get some direction and support. People watching the parade can also see that its not just frills and fun but their are serious vital groups making themselves public so people know who to contact for what.

In regards to actually Marching, that in itself helped me step out of my own mindset of stereotyping, any mindset I had about the march before is gone, any battle I had with my sexuality is gone, its so bizarre, it feels weird being without it, but a lot lighter and the internal dialogue and fighting has stopped. It was almost like dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s about my sexuality and more importantly the message we were proclaiming being that “God Does Accept and Love US!!! And we are not going to hide it and be swept under the carpet like the church seems to want to do. For someone closeted, even if they never come out in the open, it can mean either life or death to them, in a removed sort of way they are seeing gay/lesbian christians making a stand for them as well, that in itself is powerful. We were willing to be jeered at or come what may, we didnt know what to expect, I didnt anyway, especially proclaiming that Jesus loved the gay/lesbian pentecostal christian. But we bit the bullet and did it anyway. And it was worth it. D

I know that it gave some gay/lesbian pentecostal church people hope. Without hope and a vision of the possibilities of something better ahead, people die. They feel they have no where to turn, like this we “showed” openly that their is “somewhere” they could turn. Too many are rejected and attempting suicide and even succeeding, its got to stop.

Joined in 2007
April 1, 2007, 09:45

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.


Joined in 2007
March 4, 2008, 12:30

The truth is I have never really went to the Sydney colour expession of Mardi Gra night. I just am dealing with the Gay issue still. But I am sure I will check it out some day, when I get to that point of call.

I just feel like being a Gay man is not easy compared to the Hetrosexual world.

Why I say this. I don’t really know? I am just yearning for some new connection of open life. For I need to feel safe in who I am as a person, coming out, towards a new shinning bright light of Hope.


Hope is what we need.

From Matt ❓

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
March 4, 2008, 12:41

its a journey Matt…….hang around those who are further along the path than you…..I’m sure that will help to find the way and feel better about yourself.

Joined in 2008
March 6, 2008, 17:04

As you may know I posted on mags Q’s regarding this years march and found it 2b wonderful as was last year! I suppose I was a bit put out by the group in front of us though. I wasn’t even remotely sure what they were trying to present or represent for that matter! 😕 There was a guy walking with a cross and the words “Cheese and Rice”written on it (obviously rhyming for Jesus Christ!) and another guy and girl walking beside him.

She was seductivly whipping him and lying on him gyrating. The other guy was pulling his pants down and sticking his rear in his face, and at the crowd, and at one point performed simulated oral sex on him while he was lying on the cross.

I found this quite distasteful. I understand more than I did (due to a conversation with Phil after the march) thankyou phil!, that people march for many reasons and they can still be very hurt, angry and disgusted by the church and those who represent Christianity.

In saying this though is it ok for these kinds of groups to use Mardi gras as a medium for this kind of display? Someone (who really doesn’t pray often!) told me that they offered up a prayer of apology because they felt it was hurtful to God. 😥

Has the original meaning of Mardi gras been lost?

cheers Michelle

Joined in 2008
March 6, 2008, 17:15

Father forgive them for they know not what they do……

March 6, 2008, 17:25

I found that quite offensive too. But you never know their motivations and I just tried to ignore it as much as possible.

Joined in 2006
March 6, 2008, 19:30

Far out, thats heavy, I remember one year prob early 90’s they had a Pic of Mary pregnant with Jesus and a sign saying an abortion couldve solved this, it was awful but at the time Fred Nile was very openly battering in a big way so prob the reason it was on a float but yeh makes me wonder how something just downright offensive can be allowed, anyhow what can you do.

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