Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras consider inclusive name change

Australia’s largest celebration of LGBTIQ+ culture and community is considering a re-brand to represent the diversity featured within the queer community.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras addressed their membership this week, outlining concerns raised by the community over the years that the festival’s title only features the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’- omitting a plethora of identities under the LGBTIQ+ umbrella.

The organisation have announced plans host a community consultation event in April, followed by a survey which may result in the festival being renamed.

“We feel it’s an important step to take in talking to the community to see what can be done to be more inclusive and reflect all the vibrant colours of everyone under and over the rainbow,” Chief Executive Teresa Casu said of the move.

Co-Chair Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco added that it was the right time to reach out to the community to gauge feelings on the historic change.

“We do not take the matter lightly and understand that a change to our organisation’s name can only happen by a vote of our members at a General Meeting,” Campolo-Arcidiaco said.

“Our members will have the ultimate say, but we want to live up to our commitment for inclusion.”

The conversation about inclusion at the celebrations has been raised many times over the years. The board came under-fire after attempting to change the festival’s name without consultation in 2011, and a 2015 survey showed that lesbians felt disconnected from the celebrations – despite being featured in the name.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras are due to consult with the local LGBTIQ+ community at the Eternity Playhouse on Sunday 7th April.

OIP Staff

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