The first Sydney Mardi Gras in 1978 was a defining moment in the history of LGBTIQ rights in Australia.
Research shows awareness-raising days can have long-term impact if they have a clear call to action, leverage the passion of those involved, or target policy-makers.
Within a little more than a decade following the 1978 riot, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival and Parade nourished the emergence of a budding gay and lesbian tourism industry.
If intelligently managed, festivals attract substantial numbers of LGBT tourists to regional and rural destinations, injecting additional income into the local economies.
Marchers at the 1978 Mardi Gras parade.
Sally Colechin/The Pride History Group
On the Sydney Mardi Gras march of 1978.
The Conversation, CC BY 31.7 MB (download)
On a cold Saturday night in Sydney on June 24, 1978, a number of gay men, lesbians and transgender people marched into the pages of Australian social history. I was one of them.
It’s time to get glam in a green way.
Every festival in Australia sends countless bits of glitter down the drain (and into the ocean). But you can still shine on – in bio-glitter.
A family catches Mardi Gras beads during the Krewe of Thoth parade down St. Charles Avenue in 2000.
Each Mardi Gras, 25 million pounds of beads hit the streets of New Orleans. One researcher went to the Chinese factories that make them – and spoke to the workers who believe the beads will be given to royalty.
Australia detains asylum seekers in a country that criminalises homosexuality.
Western leaders and activists should show humility and allow themselves to be guided by local organisations if they wish to be effective in promoting same-sex rights.
The 1978 Mardi Gras started as a peaceful march and degenerated into a violent clash with police.
The Pride History Group
Is a formal apology to the 1978 Mardi Gras marchers warranted? Some understanding of the oppressive social conditions affecting the lives of sexual minorities in Australia in that era is required.
Dykes on Bikes have been opening the Sydney Mardi Gras since 1988.
Dykes on Bikes have been starting Sydney's Mardi Gras parade since 1988 – and many for many participants, the yearly ride to Sydney is as important as the parade itself.