We all expected it, but now it’s actually happening. No doubt you have read the great news about this year’s Mardi Gras headliner!!! You haven’t… What rock have you been under these past few months? Cher, boys and girls, is the headline act for the Mardi Gras parade after party! Take a look here if you don’t Believe (haha, get it) me IT'S OFFICIAL: Cher is headlining Mardi Gras 2018
Ok, so Cher is coming, Mardi Gras is coming, but why do we care? Like most good stories, I’m sure it started with two friends talking about shit late one night, where alcohol may or may not have been involved…
As discussed in previous posts, I’m not lesbian or gay or bi or transgender or intersex or queer. Not to say in the dark past it wasn’t tossed around that it might be interesting to give a go, you know before I had to start adulting and all that BS. So if I can’t be afforded the LGBTIQ title, what the hell am I doing writing about this for? Because I don’t judge based on sexual preference, shit my own mother encouraged me to be friends with gay guys (I thought it was cute, but looking back, I believe it was her way of making me keep my pants on…). I judge based on the type of person you are, and you know what, everyone I have met at Mardi Gras over the years has been the most open, honest and caring people you could find!
Want to come to Mardi Gras with me?
Getting back to the drinking and shit talking. It was a number of years back now when a friend turned to me one night and blurted out “Want to come to Mardi Gras with me?” Don't forget, I’m a geek, I think we established that quite well here. I’m not known for flamboyant displays, the like of which I assumed would be prevalent at an event like Mardi Gras. So, of course, my answer was “Sure!” What else was I meant to say? Well, I found out when I told my equally geeky peers at work the next day… “WTF!” “Mardi Gras, I thought you were married?” “Ha ha ha, seriously?” Suffice to say that didn’t go down so well with me, it also didn’t help alleviate the doubts I had.
So, for better or worse, the day had come to attend my first Mardi Gras parade. Now, you are probably wondering how I could get into the parade, given my lack of prerequisite (you know, being straight). That was the easy part, we were both a member of a volunteer organisation that encourages participation from all it’s members in the parade each year. We put on our costumes for the parade, had some liquid courage and set off to experience CityRail in all it’s finest to get to Hyde Park for sign in. Wow!
The night was over before it began! Once we got into the participants only section, the atmosphere and people swept you up in such a whirlwind that you didn’t have time to think or be dubious about your decision. Then the parade actually starts!!! It’s only 2 kilometres, but it seems both longer and shorter at the same time. All the energy that was building before the parade starts, in the marshalling area, bursts forth and the energy of the crowd adds to it. No sugar coating, it’s hot, your throat is sore, it’s hot, your feet are sore, it’s hot, you definitely get lots of random hugs (I’m not a hugger, but when in Rome), and finally if I didn’t mention, it’s hot! And rain, hail or shine, the show must go on. It’s so much fun, it’s an adrenalin hit. The whole city is partying, and why not?
Now to answer the big question, why? Let me pose one back. Why do we need to segregate based on sexual preference? Who cares who screws who? I went because a friend asked me to go, and also mentioned the possibility of a girls weekend away (who needs a reason for that?). But the better question is why do I keep going back, year after year? Because it’s a fantastic experience! It’s so nice to see people from all walks of life, eg last year we ran into people from the Tiwi Islands (for reference small islands off the coast north of Darwin), coming together and celebrating together instead of the usual snide remarks. Or at best ignorant indifference. There is no judgement, and I personally don’t like judgement, because it’s normally wrong and based on your own experiences.
Getting back to the important thing, Cher is coming to Mardi Gras!!! I get a girls weekend away!!! Oh, and Mardi Gras is on!!! If you still live under that rock, the parade is on 3rd March 2018. This year is going to be a special one, it’s the 40th year Mardi Gras has been on for and it’s the first year where everyone can finally get married!!!
Make sure you follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter, we are going to Mardi Gras this year and will be posting all night!