Who are these New Mardi Gras people?

They decide -“ a day before the festival launch -“ to terminate a decade-long tradition of PLWHA NSW collecting donations at the event.

After what I gather was heated discussion between parties, NMG acquiesce, under the proviso they get 30 percent of funds raised. Unfuckingbelievable.

Perhaps the most grotesque feature of this debacle is the notion that HIV is old, not New; a limited concern rooted in the dark past, which is contrary to the upbeat, all-inclusive, forward-looking direction of the organisation.

Well, I’m a PLWHA who is increasingly sick of their contrived GLBTQIP bullshit. What’s the I stand for? Intersex, apparently, which appeases, oh, a good handful of people who’ve felt overlooked for the past 20-odd years.

And the P? I’m glad you asked. It stands for polysexual, the term Steph Sands applied to all of us at the launch I didn’t attend last Friday.

Exactly what polysexuals get up to is unclear, but I imagine they’re even more susceptible to contracting HIV. Can they get married, though? And what about children, huh? Such are the concerns of Mardi Gras today.

I had no intention of writing about Mardi Gras until I heard about this fiasco. In one colossally clumsy, insensitive, greedy move they’ve managed to piss off and generally gobsmack a whole sector of the community.

But maybe I shouldn’t be so affronted. HIV in general has been relegated to the clinics and chemists; discussion on the scene is non-existent. Meanwhile, barebacking is rampant, infection rates continue to rise and HIV-positive people, while growing in number, have never been more invisible.

Good to see New Mardi Gras riding this tide of complacency. We’re here to party, right? As long as you have ID, that is. I hear people were turned away from the launch for being under (drinking) age.

Never mind the long-fought battle for equal age of consent -“ if you’re not old enough to make NMG money by buying overpriced alcohol, forget about it.

The board of New Mardi Gras should be embarrassed. And if they try to pull the same trick on BGF’s fundraising along the parade route, they should be ashamed.

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