Yesterday, LGBTQI communities and their friends celebrated the 44th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in a supernova of glitter, glitz, and glam.

Held at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the second year, the parade, which was jam-packed with rainbows, dancing, and community unity, featured 5,800 marchers, 160 parade entries, 40,000 spectators, performances and pyrotechnics. 

Image: Supplied

Performers included singer-songwriter Darren Hayes, Vanessa Amorosi, The Wiggles, and Timothy Springs.

Darren Hayes, former member of bestselling Australian pop duo Savage Garden, performed The Animal Song, Affirmation, and Lets Try Being In Love , and the crowd was ecstatic.

This was Hayes’s first live performance in Australia in a decade and marks his 20th anniversary as a solo artist. 

Matt Akersten, Pride and Diversity Officer for Sydney WorldPride 2023, tweeted, “What a night! How’s how the 2022 [Sydney Mardi Gras] Parade ended, a dazzling show with [Darren Hayes]”

‘Love is What the World Needs Right Now’

Anthony Hansen marched with Western Sydney University and told Star Observer how important marching was to him.

“With so much happening in the world right now, It was amazing to be able to march in the 2022 Mardi Gras this year. The electricity, the energy, was palpable. But most importantly love is what the world needs right now,” Hansen said.

Image: Anthony Hansen

Dan Craig, who volunteered with ACON, talked to Star Observer about why he volunteered, saying, “It’s about paying it forward. I know that the freedoms we have as a queer community in Australia have mostly be brought on by thousands of people volunteering their time to improve equality for all. I hope that in some small way, volunteering with ACON will continue that fight for equality.” 

Image: Dan Craig

‘Visibility is a Key Stepping-Stone to Acceptance’

Reflecting on why Mardi Gras is so vital, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Albert Kruger, said, “Visibility is a key stepping-stone to acceptance. That is why Mardi Gras is still so important. It gives us the opportunity to show the world how special diversity is, how wonderful equality could be, and it lets us show LGBTQIA+ people from all over the world that they are accepted and they are celebrated.”

Next year Sydney will host WorldPride, the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to do so. 

“We’re looking forward to returning to our spiritual home on Oxford Street next year,” Kruger said.

Image: Supplied

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