Everyone loves a parade, right?

At approximately 10pm on June 24 1978, we’d had enough. Protesters stood up to police crashing their perfectly harmless queer shindig. Many were arrested, named and shamed. A hefty price for being themselves.

And an epic fail for a backward nation that wouldn’t know fabulousness if it were slapped in the face with an Alexander McQueen glove.

This was the birth of Mardi Gras. A peaceful protest which later stripped down to a decadently tongue-in-cheek celebration — the biggest in the world. We grew in popularity, drawing crowds of thousands. Some came to leer, others to show support.
I once ached for the parade. Except the year an evil fag hag spiked my drink. I have a clown phobia. And so a sea of painted faces, feathers, and glitter bombs soon saw me assuming the foetal position.

More hetero onlookers rock up these days. Many argue it’s now a gaudy sideshow, an onslaught of tired stereotypes. Floats targeting the pink dollar, coercing a flurry of mindless consumerism — take out that home loan, pay for 10 eps of Jerry Springer a day. Spend, spend, spend!

Have we become complacent? Have we sold out?

The longstanding Animal Liberation float was denied participation this year, while other non-queer behemoths were given the thumbs-up. Allegations of media censorship ensued, and international press nabbed the story, as did SSO.

The corporate floats may keep NMG out of financial disarray. But to veto grassroots queer floats in favour of dollar signs makes me wonder. I do that sometimes.

I also wonder if police will be scurrying around with their sniffer dogs, or instead locking up the violent, homophobic dickheads who hit the streets for some good old-fashioned poofter bashing.

I’ve had enough of skanks throwing up on me. I’ve had enough of their angry ‘bi-curious’ boyfriends full of grog and ice. One year, one such douche told me if he was gay, I would have been his bitch. Lucky me.

I’m sorry, if it’s your first parade, Happy Mardi Gras — you’ll have a hoot. Just keep the ferals at a safe distance. And don’t let the clowns eat me.

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