This year I attended the Mardi Gras in Sydney for the first time. I was even on a float, though groans cry out when I reveal that it was the Liberal Party float.
There were a lot of new experiences had. It was my first real encounter with Sydney Liberals and it was definitely an enlightening experience. I saw a great passion from the Liberal gay community for their only lower house representative, Bruce Knotley Smith, which impressed me a lot.
The parade itself was a bit confronting with the highlight in controversy being the preponderance of gimp suit furries. That is buff grown men in leather gimp suits with tails and dog ears.
The other parties had pretty disappointing floats. Both Labor and the Greens had their floats tie in to their ‘Newtown’ campaigna, which the Greens ultimately won. I thought this was a cop out, with the Liberal float being much more pluralistic. We even had our President of the upper house, rather than just target candidates.
One incident stuck out to me the most. A little boy, probably about four years old was there with his parents, wearing a Greens T-shirt for the parade. And the Liberal float had brought bubble blowers which caught this boy’s attention. There was this fantastic scene where grown adults, many who had important roles in the government, were teaching this little boy in a Greens T-shirt how to blow bubbles. It was very cute.
It captured an almost magical sense of humility and humanity and I wish I had taken a picture to share. Eventually the boy’s mother came and took him away, though she was nice about it. She was however also obviously uncomfortable.
Then some friends saw me on TV in the parade. Which was strangely gratifying.