A festival of LGBTI Art, Cinema, Trivia, Debates, Sports, Fundraising Activities and Club Events across Sydney.
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A PRIDE History
After the Stonewall riots in 1969, many LGBT people—even those that did not witness the rebellion—were inspired to contribute to the cause. Gay rights had entered the national spotlight. LGBT people began organizing, protesting and mobilizing. On July 4, 1969, a year after the Stonewall riots, the Mattachine Society along with Frank Kameny, Craig Rodwell, Randy Wicker, Barbara Gittings, Kay Lahusen and many others, picketed in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia in what was called the Annual Reminder. The protest was quiet and organized to the dismay of Craig Rodwell who felt Frank Kemeny and Mattachine's methods of calm protest were not enough.
Rodwell returned to New York City and organized Christopher Street Liberation Day. The march, held on June 28, 1970, was the first gay pride march in the U.S., covering 51 blocks from Christopher Street to Central Park. Today, LGBT pride parades and festivals are held annually in multiple cities and countries throughout the world. The month of June is widely considered Gay Pride Month.
Sydney PRIDE HistoryThe first Mardi Gras was held on 24 June 1978 at 10 pm as a night-time celebration following a morning protest march and commemoration of the Stonewall Riots More than 500 people moved down Oxford St, calling for an end to discrimination against homosexuals in employment and housing, an end to police harassment and the repeal of all anti-homosexual laws. Although the organizers had obtained permission, this was revoked, and the march was broken up by the police. 53 of the marchers were arrested although most charges were eventually dropped, the Sydney Morning Herald published the names of those arrested in full, leading to many people being outed to their friends and places of employment, and many of those arrested lost their jobs as homosexuality was a crime in New South Wales (NSW) until 1984
The Mardi Gras Parade occurred again in 1979, and was attended by 3000 people. While there was a large police presence, there were no arrests made. In 1980, no Parade was held, but following community consultation, decisions were made to move the parade to the summer. In 1981 the parade was shifted to February, with the name changed to the "Sydney Gay Mardi Gras an increasingly large number of people not only participated in the now summertime event, but a crowd of 5000 came to watch it. The mid 1980s saw considerable pressure placed to the Mardi Gras Committee following media controversy regarding AIDS. Despite calls for the Parade and Party to be banned, the Parade went ahead with theme “Fighting for Our Lives”.
The first giant post-parade party was held in 1982, which 4000 people attended. This would continue to become an integral part of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. In 1988 the parade was renamed the "Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras" at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
By 1993, the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade had become the largest night time outdoor parade in the world. Mardi Gras' Economic Impact Study found that Mardi Gras' total impact into the Australian economy was around $38 million Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the biggest GLBT Celebrations in the World and 2011 was attended by record crowds.
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