Sydney Mardi Gras drops event featuring YouTuber Arielle Scarcella

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras has officially begun this week, celebrating Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community.

One event originally listed in the festival line-up will not be part of the annual celebrations, after a petition highlighted the anti-transgender stance of one of the scheduled guests.

YouTuber and lesbian commentator Arielle Scarcella was listed as a panelist for a Q&A event hosted by Les-Talk, a group dedicated to hosting discussions about lesbians in Australia.

A petition launched by activist Johnny Valkyrie was launched ahead of the event, highlighting Scarcella’s anti-transgender YouTube commentary. Scarcella has posted videos including titles such as I Won’t Apologise for Being Transphobic, and other videos speaking against transgender identities.

The petition had called on Mardi Gras and Les-Talk to withdraw Scarcella from the panel, publicly address the issue and apologise to the trans, nonbinary and gender diverse community.

Scheduled guest and Buzzfeed writer Tania Safi pulled out of the event upon hearing that Scarcella would be joining her.

“I do not agree with Arielle’s transphobic and biphobic beliefs,” Safi said, calling on organisers to “promote genuinely inclusive, progressive views… that means for all LGBT+ people everywhere.”

Les-Talk has since responded to the criticism on social media.

“We regrettably cannot respond to each one individually in great length. As for an update. We have reached out to Mardi Gras and after discussions given the current situation, both Mardi and Les-Talk have decided it is best our event not be associated with Mardi Gras.”

“We want to state that this event is privately held by POC Queer Women and not organised by Mardi Gras. While it was an honour to be associated with Mardi Gras as we believed our topics of discussion would align with Mardi Gras’ message of What Matters, our event will continue as a stand-alone event.”

“Any decision of any panel members (which we will update in the coming days) is entirely from our team and has nothing to do with Mardi Gras.”

Sydney Mardi Gras has also responded to the petition on Twitter, thanking the community for sharing their concerns.

“We have been in touch with the event organiser and have now removed it from our Festival event listings,” Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras wrote on Twitter.

Scarcella has taken to social media to respond to Mardi Gras’ de-listing of the event.

“They took the ONE lesbian event off their site, because of the “woke left”calling me names. Tell them you don’t agree with this homophobia and silencing of women,” Scarcella wrote on Twitter.

“Can you guys tell @sydneymardigras how insane this is? Calling me “right-wing” (I’m not. Also, it’s not a bad thing) And saying I portray trans women as rapists because I posted ONE video calling out MEN for abusing self-ID.”

The Les-Talk event is set to continue in Sydney on Thursday 27th February.

OIP Staff