The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is celebrating another year of promoting diversity and inclusion through culture, creativity and partnerships. This year more than 180 groups and communities will be marching down Oxford and Flinders Streets on Saturday the 29th of February.
This year there is also a shared feeling of confusion and disappointment among our own community as we learn there is no LGBTIQ+ Latin American and Hispanic presence at the parade this year.
With a long history of participation at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras our Latinx community has always proudly displayed through music, dance and colours the spirit of our diverse backgrounds and cultures. In 2016 the talented designer Rene Rivas , gave us â€œPlumage of paradiseâ€ an iconic installation and costume evolution project to celebrate Sydney Mardi Grasâ€
Throughout the history of the Sydney Mardi Gras diverse and multicultural groups have always found a platform to represent with pride and creativity who they are and where they come from. It is an opportunity for many multicultural groups to shine a spotlight on issues still affecting the LGBITQ+ communities in their home countries. Some other groups like Fruits from Brazil – Glamazone and LGBTIQ Latinos in Sydney will not be parading this year as applications were rejected.
Latin American countries have a long and troubled history when it comes to violence, social injustice and discrimination against the LGBTIQ+ community, specifically the transgender community. In Mexico â€˜Letra Sâ€
Brazil, Puerto Rico, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela are also experiencing issues particular to this community, crimes against transgender women, discrimination at the workplace, conservative governments lacking public health policies and elimination of previous rights granted to these communities are on the rise.
This makes the decision of not having our community represented in this yearâ€
chosen family . (Photos Fruits from Brazil below)
The absence of the Latinx communityâ€
We hope next year the Mardi Gras committee prioritizes multicultural LGBTIQ+ communities; which are a minority within a minority in Australia. Pride parades are an important space key for exposure and representation for multicultural communities that in many cases are still invisible. Midsumma Festival in Melbourne on the other hand still keep their Pride March parade as community based as it can possibly can. Since 2016 LAHRC has been participating brigning awareness and sharing their culture with the general Australian community. (See photos below)
We should always remember â€˜what mattersâ€
Article by Alfredo Landeros
â€œAlways work hard, be honest, and be proud of who you areâ€- Patricia Velasquez, Venezuelan supermodel, actress and author
Latinx LGBTIQ Groups in Australia: