24 Floats share how they’re being ‘FEARLESS’ at this year’s parade!

200 associations, groups and organisations feature in this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras parade.   $66,000 in grants to 24 individuals, community groups and not-for-profit organisations will assist in taking their parade entries to new heights of artistic creativity thanks to Google’s community grants.   Recipients were officially announced today.

“From a stunning Rainbow Thylacine by the only community-run LGBTQIA organization in Launceston, to The Institute of Many’s passionate celebration of fearless love, the recipients of these grants each have a powerful message that we’re looking forward to seeing on Parade night,” said Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Terese Casu. “With the support of Google, and through our own philanthropic fundraising, we’ve been able to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to LGBTQI non-profit and community organisations in this program over the past three years”.

Google’s Tea Uglow said, “Mardi Gras is only as awesome as the people it represents. We are delighted that for a third year Google can help grass-roots LGBTQIA communities amplify the epic (and sparkle) of their Mardi Gras floats.   Google proudly affirms and supports LGBTQIA people and their allies and we’re excited to continue our partnership with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.”

FULL LIST OF RECIPIENTS

Aboriginal Project ACON52700595_1028216823969066_7120673314225258496_n.jpgServicing the LGBTQIA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community across NSW, Aboriginal Project ACON provides holistic health services.  The oldest thriving culture, it’s all about fostering acceptance and love. Their float will be showcasing leaders within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIA community.   Leaders who had no choice but to be fearless in paving the way for us younger mob.

Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group

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Click to Register & Learn more

The peak national gynaecological cancer research organisation.   Their consumers, members & donors are from the LGBTQIA community.   ‘SAVE THE BOX’ is their theme – raising awareness about gynaecological cancer.    Talking about signs and symptoms with friends and Dr’s could save your life!

Bentstix Hockey Club Inc

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Source: Facebook | Get Social with Bentstix | Join The Team

Bentstix was established in 1996 during the Mardi Gras festival as a network of like-minded players – growing to become one of the largest and most successful LGBTQIA hockey clubs, with over 80 active members.   Their parade theme is FEARLESS CHAMPIONS as they are Fearless on the field – they play hard and wear their rainbow socks with pride in leagues across Sydney.   They’ve experienced homophobic abuse on and off the field but are Champions in their game (with medals) more recently bringing home the Gold from both the 2018 World Gay Games and the 2017 World OutGames.

Bi+ Visibility

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Source:  Facebook  |  #bSeen | Instagram  |

Bi+ Visibility is a partnership between Bi+ orgs around the nation, aimed to build community,  fight bi-phobia and bi-erasure and address the significant mental health issues the community face.   #Bseen – Bisexuals are ready to ‘Be seen!’   Bisexuality is real, Bi+ belongs in the parade & to the Bi+ community watching –  “WE SEE YOU'”. They want to show bi+ identifying people watching from the crowd or sitting at home who may have never met another bi+ identifying person, who may be experiencing bi-phobia, bi-erasure or discrimination based on their sexual orientation – that they are real, they are here and there is a huge community out there to support them.

Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club

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Source: Facebook | Instagram | Join the Team – 3 Free Trial Sessions

Providing a social & fitness-focused sporting outlet for the LGBTQIA community, friends, family and supporters, the club’s strongest asset is their team spirit with over 100 members. A FEARLESS FREAKSHOW where circus meets animals of the Chinese Zodiac showing the club’s ferocity on water and how fearlessly fabulous they are off it.

Diversity Launceston

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Source:   Facebook | Instagram

Diversity Launceston is the only active community-run, not for profit organisation in Launceston, Tasmania.   Championing events to provide the LGBTIQA community opportunities to meet and form connections.  Their float celebrates the Tasmanians who campaigned tirelessly in their efforts to decriminalise homosexuality which remained a criminal offence until 1997, paying homage to them through the recreation of the Rainbow Thylacine.

FOBGAYS+   Facebook  |  Instagram  

A grassroots community network of friends and family of brown (South Asian) gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer+ identifying people.   FEARLESS TOGETHER is the theme of their float as they march as a procession of animals found throughout the jungles of different South Asian countries, wearing traditional South Asian clothes and textiles.

freegaynhappy  – Join the Group

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Source: Facebook

Established 14 years ago, FGNHAPPY’s float features unicorns and the float is called mirror mirror.   They message they send is in tackling people’s perceptions of themselves and others.   All marchers will be dressed as unicorn and looking into a big mirror and seeing how spectacularly special and magical they are.

Harbour City Wrestling Club

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Source: Facebook | Instagram | Join the Beginner’s Workshop – March 15

The not-for-profit LGBTQIA and straight friendly wrestling club based in Kings Cross, a  majority of the club members are a part of the LGBTQIA community.   This year’s float theme is ‘THE WRESTLERS OF OZ’ featuring wrestlers of different, shapes, sizes, genders and sexuality from Sydney and sister club in Melbourne.   The Citizens of Oz are fearlessly taking on the Flying Monkeys in a battle for the Emerald City including a few LGBTQIA asylum seekers marching for the first time.

NSW Trans Youth Alliance
A Facebook group of nearly 200 trans young people and allies mostly aged from 16 to 22.  The Theme is TRANS AND PROUT – TRANS IS BEAUTIFUL.  Many of these kids have had to be fearless to come out and be themselves. For many of them it also taken courage to march and show themselves to the world.

Party Passport  Check out their Events  |  Instagram 

Celebrating the LGBTQIA+ people from the Northern Territory & their supporters.  It is run by Party Passport, a queer-owned & run, NT based events company whose  events celebrate diversity & inclusion.   Their float will sizzle –  RED HOT TERRITORY- FIREY, FEARLESS, FABULOUS – “you can be who you are, wherever you are.”   Promoting visibility for rural and remote LGBTQIA+ people, Party Passport gives NT presence on the international stage of Mardi Gras.

People with Disability Australia

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Source: Facebook | Become a Member or Donate

PWDA has recently engaged LGBTQIA+ people through a Disability Support Organisation (DSO) that encouraged peer groups to come together to discuss the issues facing LGBTQIA+ people with disability.   The FEARLESS EXPRESS will promote the freedom to express sexuality.

R U OK?

(Source:  #junkeegras – Ambassador Craig Mack discusses why our mates are so important when making sure someone is okay)
How to ask for help  |  Host an Event  |  Resources 

R U OK?’s mission is to inspire everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life. We continue to encourage support in the LGBTQI community.   FEARLESS FRIENDS – They give strength to others when they need it most.  Marchers will represent the diversity of these friends – they come from all walks of life, but are ready and willing to be there for their loved ones.

Renny Roccon – Wonder Mama and the Fearless Rainbow Super-Queeroes
Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 9.28.05 PMA reguar on the parade roster over the years, Renny Roccon assembles a group of friends to present WONDER MAMA AND THE FEARLESS RAINBOW SUPER-QUEEROES.   Each super-queeroe will represent a colour of the rainbow flag – defenders of love and equality.  A fun vibrant float appealing to the “fun aspect of Mardi Gras”.

Rumba Latina

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Source: Facebook

Rumba Latina was created in 2016, founded by Colombian expat, Rosa Doyle, regularly performing in several multicultural festivals and parades, including –  Moomba Festival, Bondi Latin festival, Johnston Street festival and many more across both Sydney and Melbourne.    A diverse group with different backgrounds, cultures, and views but with the same passion,  Rumba Latina shows the power of dance and how it brings people together with  great flair, passion, and creativity.

Sydney Dance Company

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See Upcoming Events |  2019 Annual Program

Australia’s foremost contemporary dance company since 1969.   A diverse and inclusive organisation for fifty years, engaging the LGBTQI+ community with artists, staff, audiences and participants.    2019 marks Sydney Dance Company’s 50th anniversary.   A heritage born through a notably diverse alumni of artists, management and community.   A renowned cultural leader,  SDC celebrates Fifty FEARLESS GOLDEN YEARS of including the LGBTQI+ community through progressive works and activities for audiences nationally and internationally.

Team Sydney Inc   Instagram | Upcoming Events | Club Directory

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Team Sydney promotes sport, fitness & healthy lifestyles among Sydney’s LGBTIQ organisations.  Connecting & promoting over 30 member organisations, representing thousands of individual athletes,  the theme for the float is ‘MAKING A SPLASH’ – where actions cause ripples.   Facing fears and pushing through barriers as out and proud LGBTIQ athletes.

The Institute of Many

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Source: Facebook  |  Join the Group  |  Upcoming Events

Completely unfunded, independent, grassroots, movement for people living with HIV, with the largest membership of any HIV org. in Australia.   TIM will celebrate the breakthrough message of UNDETECTABLE = UNTRANSMITTABLE (U=U).   A retro sci fi‚ themed float inspires people to consider a changing paradigm of HIV in the 21st century.    Science now tells us that an undetectable viral load means it cannot transmit HIV to sexual partners.  Celebrating the future of HIV that people with HIV who have an undetectable viral load can be fearless when being with who they love.

The Oz Fag Hags
Oz Fag Hags from Anne Flanagan on Vimeo.
A group of people who transgress the boundaries between gay & straight culture.   EXERCISE YOUR RIGHTS!  Their float reminds Australians that while people are still being discriminated against based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status, its up to individuals to exercise their rights.

The Star Observer

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Read the latest issue

The Star Observer is Australia’s longest running LGBTI media organisation, setting the LGBTI agenda since 1979.   500,000 loyal readers this year they celebrate their 40TH BIRTHDAY – honouring fearless reporting and journalism for the LGBTI community.

The Students of the National Institute of Dramatic Art

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NIDA celebrates 60 years of creativity and inclusion this year!

Their theme is STORYTELLERS OF THE FUTURE, LEARNING & TEACHING ON BEDEGAL LAND.   “We believe that to be able to tell the stories of the LGBTQIA+ community we need to be fearless in our approach. It is only through this fearlessness that we can be truthful and respectful.”

Trikone Australasia

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Source:  Facebook  |  Instagram  | Learn more here

An organisation for GLBTIQ South Asians living in Australia creating a supportive and empowering environment for people to promote awareness and acceptance of their.   FREEDOM reminds us that 2 of the 12 South Asian countries (India and Nepal) do not or no longer have homosexuality listed as a criminal offence.  Freedom and decriminalizing of homosexuality in South Asian countries will come about from the fearless few who make a voice and fight for justice.

Wett Ones Swimming Club

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Source:  Facebook | Instagram | Free Women’s Boot Camp | Join the team

Called a family by members who range in age from 20s to 70s.   Their float –  SWIM LIKE A GIRL is dedicated to increasing the participation of lesbian, bisexual, transgender and cisgender women in swimming who make up only 20% of swimmers.    “We honour the fearless females who won 28 medals at the 2018 Gay Games & swimmer Kay Gravell who won 8 gold medals while having cancer in her spine, lungs and liver, just one month before she died.”

Women In AFL

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Source: Facebook | Pre-Season Women’s AFL Challenge March 10 |

AFL Without Agenda – AFL is not about gender, sexuality or differences; it is about inclusion and the collective.   There are occasions of individual brilliance on the field although the majority of the game is driven by teamwork.   To women in AFL, to be fearless, means to take action.    Challenging misconceptions, challenging barriers to equality, challenging agendas and challenging approaches to women’s sport.

The Mardi Gras Parade is Mardi Gras’ flagship event, the culmination of a three week festival of over 100 events.   The parade takes place along Oxford Street on Saturday 2 March, 2019 attracting more than 12,000 participants and is the largest LGBTQI parade of its kind in the world.

The FULL RUN SCHEDULE here

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