The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is listed in on the Recommended Links section as “the most spectacular gay and lesbian event in the world”. This year solipsist and myself took part … and we took along a few of our favorite S(A)X items
The last time I posted about the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade was three years ago. I wrote of that event:
“The parade began with a fierce celebratory lap by 250 Dykes on Bikes, who have been taking part for twenty years. The first group marching were the 78ers, who took part in the first “Mardi Gras” in 1978, a protest march in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. One of this original group, Diane Minnis, was asked by the press if she had never imagined their 1500 strong protest would morph into today’s extravaganza:
“Absolutely not … but we’re very glad that it did because it makes being gay, lesbian, transsexual, etcetera, very visible and that’s what we still need”
“Note that etcetera, fellow kinksters, because that stands for you and me…
“Sol and I had actually stopped attending Mardi Gras a few years back, when the gay community’s attempts to integrate into the wider suburban Australian community saw kinksters discouraged from inclusion in the parade. So it was great to see some friends marching this year in serious fetish gear”
Those friends were Master Tony and Angel of Hardcore Heaven. Since BDSM has been allowed back into the Mardi Gras Parade, Master Tony and Angel have put a great deal of effort into making the kink scene a high profile part of Mardi Gras. Sol and I wanted to show our support for them by marching with the Hardcore Heaven float this year.
We’d planned to simply be part of the crowd of kinksters walking behind the float. However when we dropped in to Master Tony and Angel’s home on Friday afternoon to see if there were any float preparations we could help with, Angel asked on Master Tony’s behalf whether sol might be available, if they needed an extra body on the float. When I agreed they very kindly lent us some costume items to wear on top of sol’s S(A)X’s leather chaps.
These included a leather and chain body harness and two chain mail pieces: a face cover and matching arm covers. I fell in love with Master Tony and Angel’s chain mail at The Gathering’s market night, where they had a stall. You can see their Mardi Gras chain mail costumes here. So it was marvelous to have the opportunity to see sol wearing some. We borrowed an amazing metal spike collar from friends to complete the ensemble. Now I could add our bright red dog leash, which matched our lovely red S(A)X suede flogger and red S(A)X riding crop.
With Mardi Gras Parade participant armbands attached - nearly 8500 people participated in the parade - we headed into the parade’s assembly area. It can be a long wait, before the parade starts, but the assembly area is always fun. You have time to catch up with friends, and also lots of people come up wanting photos with those wearing the most amazing costumes. In our float’s case, Master Tony and Angel were in constant demand (another of Master Tony here by Paul Cush). As were several others, including sol, as he looked pretty amazing with his chain mail head covering. You’ll find photos here and here (both by Josephine Ki) and here’s one of both of us, taken by hornbag:
The theme of this year’s parade was ‘Say Something’. 16 of the 130 floats addressed the issue of same sex marriage. Our float focused on “Whipping Homophobia into Submission”, which we rather liked:
The vanilla crowd certainly enjoyed watching us all wielding floggers. Or in Master Tony’s case, the enormous over sized flogger that sol and I first saw in Michael Ney’s documentary about Noel Graydon and the Australian scene,