This year marks Star Observer’s 40th anniversary, and to celebrate we’ll be marching in this year’s Mardi Gras Parade – with some special guests.

We’re highlighting some of the guests who’ll be marching with us to mark 40 years of telling LGBTI stories, starting with model and former The Biggest Loser contestant Fiona Falkiner, who’ll be joining us with her partner Hayley Willis.

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When did you first go to Mardi Gras, and what was it like?

I went to my first Mardi Gras in 2007 the year I came off Biggest Loser. I thought I would start small (not) and head straight to the after party, it was such an incredible night!

Why is the Parade and festival important for LGBTIQ+ people, not only in Sydney, but around the country who might tune into the broadcast?

I feel what Mardi Gras does best is make everybody feel included. It’s that one day a year where no matter what gender or sexuality preference, we come together to celebrate that we are all the same.

At the end of the day we are all human and we all look the same on the inside, so who cares what we look like on the outside!

I love that those who can’t make the parade can watch it around the country.

LGBTQI+ stretches far and wide – so for those in remote areas or even away overseas they can tune in and see the masses marching down Oxford Street rainbows in full force, celebrating equality and feel like they’re a part of it too.

What has Mardi Gras meant to you, growing up?

To be honest I grew up in a small country town in Victoria so I never really got to experience Mardi Gras until I came to Sydney.

However, the moment I realised there is a day that celebrates people coming together and celebrating equality was a pretty special feeling and I couldn’t wait to get more involved.

What motivated you to join the Star Observer float this year?

I’ve always wanted to be a part of the parade so when the opportunity came up to be a part of the Star Observer’s 40th celebration I didn’t think twice!!

I can’t wait to get dressed up in every sequin item I own and dance our way down Oxford street with all of the other floats.

And of course I can’t wait to have my partner Hayley by my side as we celebrate our love with all of the masses on Oxford Street.

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