Words and photos by James Adams
We’ve all got a lot to thank Mardi Gras for.
Four decades after a one-night celebration turned into a political protest, Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras parade has evolved into the world’s biggest celebration of the LGBTQI community. Thanks (genuinely) to the police turning a blind eye to public drinking, Mardi Gras’ 40-year anniversary this past Saturday left us with somewhat vague memories of motorbike fumes, side street dance-offs, silhouetted figures fist pumping from building rooftops, laser beams, drag queens dancing in bottle shop windows, deafening cheers, one naked guy, 300,000 semi-clothed people, and the smudging of my camera against my face trying to take a photo while holding a beer.
The one clear memory that resonated from my haze-like memories is the absence of a single frown in the crowd of thousands. Regardless of your orientation or gender, Mardi Gras is the happiest night of the year, and all organised by a community that has been horribly mistreated throughout history. We could all learn a lesson from this.