It is the beginning of the year where summer is at its end and the weather has gone notably cooler. Usually the first Saturday of March every year marks the most colourful, eventful and one of the most empowering events of the year; that is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras showcasing Australia’s LGBTQI communities and what they are all about. Since 2002, Mardi Gras has blown up to a huge event full of feathers, glitter, spandex, sequins, pleather, lycra, big personalities, huge, outrageous and outlandish costumes… and I haven’t begun to talk about the parade yet, that is just the crowd awaiting to watch the parade. The lead up to the big Saturday parade there is a plethora of star-studded events, over 100 different art performance and entertaining acts and activities to do, a 70,000-attendee daytime festival like picnic called Fair Day and the memorable After Party Post Parade Dance Festival at which the legendary Cher will be headlining as a special guest this year. Yep, you heard it the CHER will be here to celebrate in Sydney this special occasion.
However, Mardi Gras has gone through a lot of hurdles in the past to bring the magnificent extravaganza that it is today. The history of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras started off as a peaceful march with a group of brave individuals setting up on a chilly winter night with just a simple sound system and a flatbed truck in tow for what would be a march for their lives. Out or not, these courageous men and women operating as the Gay Solidarity Group on a Saturday, the 24th of June 1978, commemorating the Stonewall riots that happened in Greenwich Village of Manhattan, New York City, exactly a decade earlier in 1969. This gutsy and liberating act of men and women were there to stand up for their rights in a positive way and to encourage political activism against the discrimination they regularly experienced.
As the small group of men and women made their way down Oxford street heading towards Hyde Park, there was a brigade of NSW Policemen not all too pleased with the commotion even though the group had a permit for the march. The police began to usher the members of the group and confiscated the truck and sound system. The group tried to head towards King’s Cross but were stopped by police officers again who swarmed in and were throwing activists into paddy wagons. There were 53 charged that night, but were dropped by Darlinghurst police station.
Although most of the charges were dropped; a prominent newspaper had gotten a hold of the list of those who were charged and published the names, occupations and even addresses of those who were charged. This caused a rippling effect outing many who would, unfortunately, lose their jobs, homes and family contact. This invasive act both by the authorities and the media of trying to keep the gay and lesbian community in line was a means of control and power to humiliate and crush their spirit. Little did they know that this only fuelled the gay and lesbian community, even more so, to be louder and prouder for their cause. Because of this monumental event evoked by this bold group of men and women now titled the 78ers , this would mark the start of Mardi Gras, not only that, but it will be a defining moment for Australian LGBTQI rights history and change the cultural heritage of Australia, too.
And here at AMR Hair and Beauty, we have got you covered to get all glitz and glammed up for the big event.
Transform your short hair into something long and lustful with Dollywood Hair Extensions, do a balayage or do our own custom blends Christina Aguilera during her Dirrty phase style.
Colour your happy in all these amazing pride colours with Pravana.
And why not add a bit of sparkle to your hair too with Glitter Spray?
Get your base ready with Kryolan products some our old favourites and brand new arrivals.
Get your eyelashes sorted, that even the Drag Queens will envious of your fluttery eyes.
Modelrock lip products will get you your pout ready.
Just add some finishing touches to your body with a slick of tan and some body art.
Come and check out all your Mardi Gras needs and necessities in our store now. No matter what, you are not alone and you are loved. Stay safe and have a Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! Love is Love.