Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to bid for World Pride 2023

Equality Australia today welcomed the news that the NSW Government will provide funding to Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras to support its bid to host World Pride in 2023.

Kate Wickett, Co-Chair of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, said that it would be an opportunity for Australia to showcase Sydney to the world.

“This bid will allow us to showcase to the rest of the world what Sydney, and Australia more broadly, has to offer the global LGBTQI community and the allies that support and celebrate with us.”

World Pride was first held in Rome in 2000, in 2019 it will be held in New York as the city marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. World Pride 2021 has been awarded to Copenhagen.

At an announcement this morning Wicket said Mardi Gras has received a letter outlining the commitment from the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday afternoon. Today the NSW government entered caretaker mode for the upcoming state election.

“A successful bid would see Sydney showcased to the world.” Wickett said. “The work that Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras do, and undertake, in representing our diverse and strong LGBTQI community will be showcased to the entire world.”

If successful it would be the first time World Pride would be held in the southern hemisphere. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras team will now head to Athens in October to present Sydney’s bid.

Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, has welcomed the news.

“Hosting World Pride in 2023 would be a fantastic opportunity for Australia to embrace and celebrate the LGBTQI+ community not only in this country, but from around the world,” Brown said.

Brown noted that if the bid was successful, World Pride would be held on the 45th anniversary of the first ever Mardi Gras protest march and on the 5th anniversary of marriage equality.

“Australia has a great deal to be proud of in the intervening years since that first march, having made significant progress in the journey towards equality for LGBTQI+ Australians. Yet whilst the achievement of marriage equality in 2017 was a significant milestone there remains much more to be done,” Brown said, adding that the situation in Australia is one that is mirrored throughout many countries in the world.

Having the international event in Sydney would attract an international spotlight to the annual event and draw a focus to ongoing issues of LGBTIQ+ rights.

Aram Hosie, Director of Engagement with Australia Equality said that trans and gender diverse people in particular still faced significant challenges in Australia and throughout the world.

“As marriage equality has progressively been achieved around the world, including here in Australia, conservative attention has increasingly been focused on blocking the progress towards equality for trans and gender diverse people,” Hosie said.

“The ability to easily update legal documents to reflect a person’s gender remains especially difficult, both in Australia and around the world, and there is a powerful international movement dedicated to preventing reform of this process.

“Being forced to use an ID that doesn’t match who you are creates daily problems when doing things many of us would find straightforward, like applying for a job or enrolling to study.”

CEO Anna Brown, CEO, said that if successful, “hosting World Pride would be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the strength and diversity of the global LGBTIQ+ communities, whilst also providing an opportunity for Australia to show international leadership when it comes to progressing the remaining work towards achieving full equality for LGBTIQ+ people both in Australia, the region, and right around the world.”

OIP Staff, Image: Ann-Marie Calilhanna

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