I did not take this photo.
I could not see metallic fuchsia tassels caterwauling through the air.
I missed the feathered and bedazzled showgirls and the techno music pumping from their float was muffled by a 7 ft tall x 3 ft wide wall of human bodies.
I was at the Sydney Mardi Gras, I just couldn’t see a thing.
“Barret, I can’t see a thing.”
The parade had begun at Hyde Park before heading down Oxford Street. At a fork in the road, the route veered right towards the Glam Stand at the end of Flinders Street.
Theoretically such a long route should have had plenty of viewing options, but it didn’t. I had completely underestimated the amount of people who would turn up for the 35th annual parade.
“Well,” Barret decided, “let’s keep moving.”
We passed six feet tall drag queens and vendors selling plastic step ladders and neon glow sticks. Unlike the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, people weren’t able to drink alcohol along the parade route. It made for less drunken antics, but the glitter pasties were just as abundant and just as sparkly under the streetlamps.
Almost forty minutes later we were at the end of the route. There were still no good spots so we settled on a partially obscured view.
We had already missed the trumpeting Dykes on Bikes motorcade, but we were just in time for the Harbour City Bears. They strutted past in jean shorts and suspenders, followed by a group of people in matching T-shirts dancing to Rihanna’s We Found Love in a Hopeless Place.
Although I had only seen a small part of what I had intended to see, the energy and excitement was still infectious. For all the people straddling the sickly sweet trashcans, awkwardly dangling from smooth trees, and precariously balancing on marble ledges, a good view of the parade was worth the discomfort. I agree, but maybe next year I’ll bring my own milk crate to stand on.