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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

The legendary Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is currently taking place and promises a dazzling kaleidoscope of diversity, inclusion, and celebration. From February 16 to 3 March, the streets of Sydney will shine with more than 150 world-class performers, including comedians, drag and performance artists, top-tier international and local DJs, and much more. 

Born out of the protest movement that originally fought for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras first took to the streets in 1978. Since then, it has blossomed into Australia’s biggest celebration of LGBTIQA+ communities and has become one of the most popular carnivals on earth.

The theme of the 2024 Mardi Gras is Our Future, which the festival’s organisers say “embodies a commitment to inclusivity, acceptance and optimism, celebrating past achievements while illuminating the path to a dazzling future.” 

Headline events this year include the Bondi Beach Party, with DJs and performances at one of Sydney’s most iconic locations; Hot Trans Summer, a celebration of the trans and gender diverse communities with an all-trans line up; Ultra Violet, a day-to-night party tailored for LGBTIQA+ women; and Festival First Light, a city-wide Welcome to Country ceremony led by Elders from across the Sydney Basin. 

Much-loved festival staples making a return include the Sissy Ball, Queer Art After Hours, Mardi Gras Party and Laneway. And the festivities culminate in the  jewel in the Mardi Gras crown: the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and other events such as Sydney PRIDE Festival are crucial for celebrating and increasing the visibility of Australia’s LGBTIQA+ communities and helping to combat discrimination and stigma. 

Research shows that members of LGBTIQA+ communities report much higher rates of mental health challenges than is observed in the general population. 

Members of LGBTIQA+ communities also have poorer outcomes in other areas such as sexual health. 

Reducing stigma and discrimination towards these communities can make a real difference in people’s lives. 

Flourish is proud to celebrate diversity and inclusion, and all of our work is underscored by our dedication to empathy and equality. Fifteen per cent of our team identify as LGBTIQA+. We were a founding member of Pride in Health and Wellbeing in 2016, and we have recently received a Bronze Award in the Health and Wellbeing Equality Index, recognising our commitment to culturally safe LGBTIQA+ health and support services across the organisation. 

We are committed to engaging with people respectfully, ensuring an environment free of discrimination, and acknowledging the importance of delivering services tailored to meet each person's unique requirements.

To find out more about our commitment to diversity visit  https://www.flourishaustralia.org.au/about/diversity-our-vision-future

For more information about Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras go to mardigras.org.au.

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