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Heritage of Pride Responds to Community Concerns

Recently, a group of activists delivered a series of demands to the offices of Heritage of Pride (HOP), related to our operation of the NYC Pride March. After careful consideration and discussion among our leadership with members, stakeholders, and city agency representatives, we would like to take this opportunity to respond, and also share some additional information as to how we run one of the world’s most visible LGBTQIA+ events.

For most of the millions of people who attend NYC Pride each year, it may be hard to imagine just how events of this size come together. If you are not familiar with how Heritage of Pride functions, here’s a little bit about us:

In 2018, we will produce directly or in-partnership, a total of 18 different events from June 14–24.
Structurally, we’re a nonprofit membership organization, with 77 Members, a 13-person Executive Board, and 10 full-time and seasonal staff.
Our Members are our most dedicated from the nearly 1,000 volunteers we engage annually, committing a great deal of time and energy to committee meetings, work sessions, and staffing our events.
In addition to producing events, we are committed to supporting the greater LGBTQIA+ community. We do this through financial support for smaller nonprofits, and volunteering at other community events and organizations.
We strive to be transparent and accessible in how we operate by making all General Membership Meetings and nearly all of our smaller committee-level meetings, open to the public.

PREPARING THE MARCH FOR STONEWALL 50
As we get ready for 2019, we’ve been adding new events to our roster, and making some exciting changes to our tentpole events. One of the most significant of those changes is to the NYC Pride March route.

When we started planning for Stonewall 50 / WorldPride 2019 NYC a few years ago, we knew one of our greatest challenges would be how to handle the record-shattering crowds expected for the 2019 March. The March was already going way over its target time length of 5 hours, and in 2017 it ran 9.5 hours, leaving groups toward the back of the March, like the New York Gay Football League, Las Buenas Amigas, and the Legal Aid Society, marching after dark with sparse crowds on the sidewalks.

We’ve been instituting small changes in the March operation, but the last three years have made it clear that any solution to the significant time overage would require a change to the March route. Our staff, Executive Board, and March Committee spent nearly a year considering options for new March routes and running those options by the many city agencies that are critical to running this event. We believe that the new route is the best option for a number of reasons, but most importantly:

It increases the time the March spends on avenues, with significantly wider roads and sidewalks;
Maintains the Stonewall National Monument as the centerpiece of the procession while adding the NYC AIDS Memorial to the route; and
Provides a vastly more efficient dispersal area for vehicles and marchers.
Disparities in the marching group sizes were also identified as a significant driver of time overages. We reviewed several years of data on how many individuals participate in each marching group, and found that nonprofits, which traditionally compose 65–75% of the registered groups, typically attract around 50–100 marchers, with the biggest organizations generally reaching 150–200. The largest marching groups are sponsors and businesses, with some attracting as many as 800 people or more. Ultimately, we determined that 200 marchers per group would be the most equitable. For 2018, that means about 40,000 marchers overall, based on our pre-event registration estimates.

THE RESISTANCE CONTINGENT
From an organizing perspective, Heritage of Pride believes that common messages within the March are best delivered when spread throughout the duration of the procession. For this reason, we do not generally group organizations into issue or identity based contingents. Having said that, we also recognize the sincerely held belief among some organizations unified in resisting the policies of the Trump administration that their message is best amplified together. We will be working with two of those organizations, Rise and Resist and ACT UP New York, to assemble a Resistance Contingent, made up of 10 activist organizations, within this year’s March.

THE ROLE OF POLICE AT PRIDE
Many of the demands were related to the role of the NYPD in the operation of the NYC Pride March, and as a marching group under the banner of GOAL, a fraternal organization of LGBTQIA+ law enforcement officers.

In New York City, NYPD has the ultimate responsibility for overseeing the permitting and operation of all marches and parades, and therefore makes the final determinations on how all events like ours are covered, monitored, and secured. At the same time, HOP has worked hard to forge a strong working relationship with the NYPD, a relationship that enables one of the world’s largest LGBTQIA+ events to be as successful as it is. Our contacts at NYPD are open to our suggestions, and we work together to review and improve our processes each and every year.

On June 5th at the LGBT Center, we invite the community to join Heritage of Pride, the Office of the Mayor, and the NYPD to learn more about the operation of the NYC Pride March.

While, as Pride organizers, we have now developed a strong relationship with the City and NYPD, we also recognize that our events only exist because our community fought back against city and police sanctioned violence and discrimination, in 1969 and beyond. With Stonewall 50 coming up next year, we think the conversation about a formal apology from the City and NYPD is worth having. We hope that same strong relationship can help move that conversation into a positive result.

Discussions around the issue of law enforcement groups marching in Pride events are not isolated to New York City. Every Pride organizer operates their events in different ways, based on local laws, social, political, and cultural considerations, and organizational structure. In this city, the NYC Pride March is a free speech platform for the diverse voices of our community and movement. That means:

That no restrictions are placed on the types of organizations that may register;
That any organization that registers and follows HOP’s rules and procedures for the NYC Pride March may participate; and
That no restrictions are placed on how marchers may legally express themselves.
Our membership voted at our May 12, 2018 General Membership Meeting to reaffirm these principles.

Aside from the free speech nature of the March, it is also important to note that GOAL had to sue in federal court to secure their right to wear their uniforms, and receive all the honors bestowed on other Department fraternal organizations that participate in parades and marches. That is a touchpoint in the movement, and Heritage of Pride holds that in a place of respect.

Pride is perhaps the most significant shared experience we have as LGBTQIA+ people. We remember our “first Prides” like they were yesterday, and we look forward to the memories and experiences each June provides with our friends and families. Here in NYC, we have the honor of being the birthplace of Pride, and the opportunity to show the awesome strength in numbers that our community holds. And in 2019, we will come together as New Yorkers, to welcome the world to our amazing city, and celebrate 50 years of Pride and Progress.

We hope you’ll join us.

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15 great minds to help boost Sydney’s nightlife

Fifteen experts from the local nightlife and creative sectors have been selected to join the City of Sydney’s new advisory panel, charged with helping reinvigorate the city after dark.

The experts, who represent the hospitality, live music and performance, theatre, festivals, retail, business and public safety sectors, were selected from 126 applications following a rigorous selection process.

The nightlife and creative sector advisory panel will give the City advice on how it can best work with industry, business and other government agencies to support a thriving, diverse and safe nightlife.

It will advise on new initiatives, identify emerging issues and opportunities for Sydney’s night-time economy, and help the City engage with local creative, cultural and nightlife communities.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the panel members have a unique opportunity to help shape Sydney’s night-time economy now and into the future.

“Sydney has the potential to be one of the world’s great 24-hour cities, with an exciting and diverse nightlife that matches our thriving daytime economy,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the fact that the NSW Government’s lockout laws have put the brakes on Sydney’s nightlife – they were a sledgehammer blow when what we needed was an evidence-based approach to the problems we share with other global cities.

“While we continue to advocate to the NSW Government to relax lockout laws, provide adequate late-night transport and explore licensing reform to allow well-managed venues to continue to trade, we are doing everything we can as a local government to revitalise Sydney’s nightlife.

“Since implementing OPEN Sydney in 2012, we have supported the development of a vibrant and safe night-time culture by leading Sydney’s small bar revolution, introducing food trucks, upgrading late-night taxi ranks, improving wayfinding, and increasing CCTV.

“Our live music action plan, funding for late-night safety ambassadors and grants for businesses to improve or diversify their evening activities all support a more interesting and successful night-time economy.

“This new advisory panel brings together passionate and experienced industry professionals to help us navigate the challenges and opportunities facing our night-time economy at this most critical time.

“These experts will advise us on how we can engage with and bring together the creative, cultural, nightlife, private and government sectors to boost our night-time culture, support businesses operating in the night-time economy and help us realise our vision for Sydney as a world-class 24-hour city.”

The panel will be similar to models already operating in other global cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, London and New York. It will meet four times per year and be co-chaired by a City of Sydney Councillor.

The panel members are:

 

  • Justine Baker – representing cafes and restaurants, Justine has 25 years’ experience in hospitality and is currently CEO of the Solotel Group, which includes Aria, Chiswick and the Kings Cross Hotel
  • John Green – representing hotels, John has vast experience in liquor licensing policy, including 26 years with NSW Police and as a director of the Australian Hotels Associations since 2008
  • Greg Turton – representing night clubs, Greg has worked in Kings Cross for 18 years and is currently general manager of The World Bar and chairperson of the Kings Cross Liquor Accord
  • Joshua Green – representing small bars, Joshua has worked in a wide range of licensed premises across Sydney, and is currently general manager of Side Bar in Haymarket
  • Joy Ng – representing small bars, Joy is a member of the Redfern Small Bar Liquor Accord and the owner and licensee of The Bearded Tit, a small bar and alternative contemporary arts venue
  • Kerri Glasscock – representing performance spaces, Kerri has operated Venue 505 in Surry Hills for 14 years and has been festival director and CEO of the Sydney Fringe Festival since 2013
  • Kat Dopper – representing festivals and events, Kat is on the board of directors for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the founder of Heaps Gay, an event series for LGBTI young people
  • Emily Collins – representing live music producers, Emily has extensive knowledge of the local contemporary music sector and is currently managing director of Music NSW
  • John Ferris – representing electronic dance music producers, John has 30 years’ experience as a club owner and DJ, and is an advisor to the Australasian Performing Rights Association
  • James Winter – representing theatre and performance producers, James is the director of not-for-profit arts organisation Brand X and is on the board of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership
  • Emilya Colliver – representing retailers, Emilya is the founder of Art Pharmacy and Culture Scouts, and a member of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Young Ambassadors Committee
  • Stephan Gyory – representing retailers, Stephan owns The Record Store in Darlinghurst and is a founding member and the current president of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership
  • Jacob Collier – representing business associations, Jacob is the president of the Glebe Chamber of Commerce and the founder of Bird and Border, a local creative activations consultancy
  • Michael Wynn-Jones – representing building and regulatory frameworks, Michael is a UTS academic, lecturer and consultant with over 25 years’ experience in building regulation
  • Phillip Wadds – representing public safety, Phillip holds a PhD in criminology and cultural studies and has been involved in research on Sydney’s night-time economy for the past 10 years.

 

All applications were assessed by a panel of City staff based on selection criteria in the advisory panel’s terms of reference.

Panel members were selected based on their skills and experience, and with the aim of ensuring they represent the diversity of the nightlife and creative sectors, including various age groups and cultural backgrounds.

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ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras open applications for national LGBTQI community grants program

Today, ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras announced applications are now open for their national LGBTQI community grants program; ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants.

Launching on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), the program will provide grants of up to $10,000 to LGBTQI not-for-profit community organisations, charities and individuals to help support local LGBTQI communities.

The ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants program will provide financial funding for a wide range of purposes including education and training, community development and creation, arts and culture – anything under the rainbow

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Terese Casu, said: “This national grants program is important because there’s real grass roots work that needs to be done in Australia for LGBTQI communities, especially in regional Australia where isolation is an issue – and we know these grants will provide much needed support for the important work being done.”

“Philanthropic and grants funding to LGBTQI specific projects is limited in Australia. There are some fantastic state-based organisations that provide funding, but this grants program has been designed to be national and very diverse.” said Ms Caus.

While collaboration between ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has spanned over 12 years, the new grants program extends the partnership past official festivities to ensure ongoing support of LGBTQI communities and projects.

ANZ Chair of the Pride Network, Melissa Tandy said: “As a champion of diversity, inclusion and respect, ANZ is proud to launch this new grants program and help LGBTQI communities and individuals thrive.

“We’re excited to be able to support a wide array of causes and initiatives working to better the lives of the LGBTQI community and hope these grants will make a real difference to Australian’s far and wide,” she said.

Applications for ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants are open from today, 17 May until 1 July with successful applicants announced on 16 July.

For more information please visit www.mardigras.org.au/grants

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Irish PM walks with his partner in NYC's St. Patricks Day Parade

Irish leader Leo Varadkar has marched with his partner Matt in New York St Patrick’s Day Parade – which until recently banned LGBT groups from participating in the event.

Ireland’s out Taoiseach (prime minister) has been a trip to the US for St Patrick’s Day, already raising LGBT rights with Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Due to the strong influence of conservative Catholic groups, the parade had maintained a decades-long ban on LGBT groups. It slowly lifted the rule in 2016 and 2017, under pressure from commercial sponsors.

Mr Varadkar held hands with his partner Matt Barrett, a doctor who currently lives in the US, as they walked together in the parade.

Mr Varadkar acknowledged: “It was a real privilege to march with my partner. Only a few years ago people couldn’t march under the rainbow banner, but that has all changed.

“Ireland has embraced diversity and inclusiveness, and Irish Americans in New York have embraced that too.”

Ahead of the parade, Mr Varadkar told media: “On a personal level it’s a real privilege to be here in New York, in a city that is so close to Ireland in so many different ways.

“I had a chance to meet the Mayor [Bill de Blasio] earlier and attend Mass, and I’m going to be able to march in the parade now with my partner which is something that is a sign, I think, of change, a sign of great diversity, not just in Ireland, but in the community here as well.”

Two gay men as guests of honour sent a powerful message, just two years on from a bitter feud over LGBT participants.

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NYC Pride March changes route

This year’s NYC Pride March also undergoes a change to its iconic route along 5th Avenue. The route proceeds through the West Village and Midtown, passing by the historic Stonewall Inn, and ends on 29th and 5th Avenue.

This route also aims to reduce the overall time of the March procession, and reduce wait times for the more than 350 marching groups prepared to step off.

“This year’s selection of Grand Marshals, bring forth the very essence of what it means to be “Defiantly Different” in social and political unrest,” Julian Sanjivan, NYC Pride March Director. “King, Lambda Legal, Ford, and Placide are defiantly brave, defiantly unique, and defiantly a share of our wondrous LGBTQ+ community.”


MEET THE NYC PRIDE GRAND MARSHALS


Billie Jean King
A sports icon and a champion for social change and equality.

Lambda Legal
The oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve the full recognition of the civil rights of multiple communities.

Tyler Ford
An award-winning agender advocate, writer, and speaker.

Kenita Placide
OutRight Action International’s Caribbean-based Advisor and the Executive Director of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE).


For more information about the 2018 NYC Pride March or to register, visit: www.nycpride.org

Guidetogay.com is a platinum media partner of NYC Pride.
Join the official NYC Pride / GTG Group here for latest updates and giveaways.

route

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Kylie Minogue, Corey Craig, Sasha Velour and many more headline stellar line up for NYC Pride.

NYC Pride’s Pride Island is back this year featuring top performances by Kylie Minogue, Tove Lo, Lizzo, and Big Freedia from Saturday, June 23 to Sunday, June 24, 2018 at a new location - Pier 97.

“As we prepare to welcome a record number of attendees for Stonewall 50 / WorldPride 2019 NYC, our move to our new home on Pier 97 is just one of several new venues, new events, and new experiences we will launch in 2018 to prepare for next year’s massive crowd," said Chris Frederick, Managing Director of NYC Pride.

Swedish pop star, Tove Lo, headlines the first day of Pride Island on Saturday. Tove Lo’s effortless steering between the worlds of love and sex on her second album Lady Wood, is sure to put fans on an emotional vibe. With hits spanning the Billboard charts like, “True Disaster,” “Talking Body,” and “Habits (Stay High),” Tove Lo’s raw and honest musical style brings fans on a journey.

Known as the “Queen of Bounce,” Big Freedia is a staple in New Orleans’ energetic style. Commonly recognized as one of the infectious voices on Beyoncé’s infamous 2015 single, “Formation,” Freedia is sure to get those bodies moving. DJ Dawson will spin the best mixes in house music while Big Freedia takes spectators south to the “Big Easy.” Additionally, the Saturday edition of Pride Island welcomes a live performance from the “hair toss, check my nails,” rising star, Lizzo. Hailing from Detroit, MI and relocating to Minneapolis, MN, Lizzo’s sound is a fusion of soul, pop, hip hop, rock, and gospel. With breakout hits “Good As Hell” and “Truth Hurts,” she’ll bring her soulful sounds to the Pride Island stage.

Defected Records founder and prolific music man, Simon Dunmore, will play a special set for an NYC Pride first. Also, not to be missed, is a performance by winner of season nine of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Sasha Velour.


On Sunday, pop superstar, Kylie Minogue, takes center stage on the closing night of Pride Island. Known as the “Goddess of Pop,” Minogue’s extensive discography includes “Spinning Around,” “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” and “All The Lovers,” to name a few of her hits. Minogue’s infectious dance-pop lyrics make her world tours wildly successful. Her highly anticipated fourteenth studio album, Golden, will be released on April 6. “Dancing,” the critically acclaimed lead single, is a welcoming addition to Minogue’s enthralling catalogue. Additionally, Grind, Ralphi Rosario, and Corey Craig will DJ live on the last day of Pride Island.


“With the success of last year’s Pride Island, we are thrilled to bring back our music festival in a two-day format,” said Jose Ramos, Pride Island Director. “Kylie Minogue, Tove Lo, Lizzo, and Big Freedia are perfect examples of the evolution of Dance on the Pier.”


Tickets for Pride Island go on sale at noon on Thursday, March 1st at nycpride.org.

Guidetogay.com is a platinum media partner of NYC Pride.

Join the NYC Pride group here for your chance to win tickets to Pride Island 2018!

 

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NYC Pride announces 2018 theme

NYC Pride has announced it's theme for the 2018 season.

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

This year's theme celebrates the rallying cry of generations who laid the groundwork for equality, the next wave of creative thinkers prepared to score their own trails, and each distinctive individual in between.

 

“Defiantly Different” speaks to the breadth of the LGBTQ+ community as a unified people and our tenacious individuality.

“This year’s theme is about showing our power, squaring our shoulders in the face of adversity, and continuing to sculpt that magnetic bond within the LGBTQ+ community and our allies,” said David Studinski, NYC Pride Co-Chair. “The corresponding creative showcases a wide selection of defiantly different community members - from performance artists to mental health advocates. We are standing defiantly – defiantly different and defiantly as one.”

Photographed by portrait photographer, Danielle Levitt, “Defiantly Different” features members of the LGBTQ+ community, including 10-year-old drag kid Desmond Napoles “Desmond is Amazing,” curator Kiyanna Stewart, transgender model Pêche Di, and 94-year-old community activist, Frances Goldin, famously-known for her “I Love My Lesbian Daughters” sign at the annual NYC Pride March.

“Defiantly Different” celebrates the rallying cry of generations who laid the groundwork for equality, the next wave of creative thinkers prepared to score their own trails, and each distinctive individual in between. The theme also takes an unflinching stance in response to the Trump administration’s substandard position on the LGBTQ+ community.
NYC Pride 2018 will take place from June 14 to June 24.

This year’s roster will include the NYC Pride March, PrideFest, Pride Island, along with a robust list of new events such as the Human Rights Conference, GameChangers, and our new culinary event, Savor Pride.

Each year, NYC Pride gives back to the local community through volunteering and awarding grants to local LGBTQ-serving organizations.

Guidetogay.com is a platinum partner of NYC Pride.

Join the NYC Pride Group HERE

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Sydney's Taylor Square gets a Mardi Gras makeover

A new fabulous inflatable art installation will take pride of place at Taylor Square to mark four decades of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and cement the precinct’s place in its history.

40 Years of Love, which its creators describe as a “big, bold and sassy artwork based on concepts of public protest, joyous celebration, community activation and engagement”, was announced as the winner of the Taylor Square Public Art Project today, Thursday 22 February, by Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

The project winner, launched by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and proudly supported by the City of Sydney, is designed on a large triangular aluminium truss that rises above the existing grass island and water fountain to transform the space into a light-filled pavilion.

The installation, by artists Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg from art studio Goldberg Aberline Studio (GAS), invites those passing by the historic Darlinghurst precinct to stop, stretch out on the grass to view its complex detailed work, and ponder the Mardi Gras story.

 “The Yes Campaign proved that Taylor Square was still an important meeting place for the LGBTQI community,” said Aberline and Goldberg.

“Our artwork re-invigorates the Square as a focal point and meeting place, reminding us we have plenty to celebrate.”

40 Years of Love will be unveiled on the anniversary of the first Mardi Gras on Sunday 24 June, 2018, and be installed for three months.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras called for expressions of interest from artists to create a temporary public artwork.

Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu said “The Taylor Square Public Art Project’s aim is to create a temporary piece of art that helps celebrate the defining moments shared over the last forty years of Mardi Gras, in an iconic location for the LGBTQI people of Sydney.”

40 Years of Love “examines the themes of repression, adversity, freedom, diversity and equality” and was inspired by queer artists like Peter Tully, Brenton Heath-Kerr, Ron Muncaster, Keith Haring and Pierre et Gillesaid Aberline and Goldberg.

“With the work’s vibrant energy and complexity, we share that Mardi Gras isn’t a singular thing but a cacophony of diverse ideas, people, histories, politics and expressions.”

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was proud to support and celebrate the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

“This wonderfully exuberant work will light up the historical heart of our LGBTI community in Taylor Square,” the Lord Mayor said.

“What began as a bloody protest almost 40 years ago is now a three-week festival celebrating our diverse and resilient LGBTQI communities – acknowledging just how far we have come in the fight for equality and acceptance. What better way to commemorate that long history than this politically-charged, joyful work.  

“I know Sydneysiders and visitors alike will love Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg’s colourful and celebratory work when it’s installed alongside our permanent rainbow flag later this year.”

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Sydney Raises the Rainbow Flag over Town Hall to launch Mardi Gras 2018.

The colours of the rainbow are proudly flying over Sydney Town Hall as the city gets set to mark the 40th anniversary of our world-renowned Mardi Gras festival.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore today led an official flag-raising ceremony on the steps of Sydney Town Hall that was attended by Mardi Gras organisers, ‘78ers and key members of the community.

“The rainbow flag is a potent symbol of pride that was born out of political action in the global LGBTIQ community and it just happens to be the same age as our historic Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Flying the iconic flag above Sydney Town Hall continues to raise awareness, highlight important issues that continue to face the LGBTIQ community and acts as an emblem for inclusion.

“We celebrated Australia (and 84% of Sydneysiders) saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality with a beautiful rainbow waterfall of fireworks cascading from the Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year’s Eve, and we will continue our support for the LGBTIQ community in the months and years to come.”

The raising of the rainbow flag marks the start of 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. This is the ninth year the international symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) pride has flown over the city’s landmark civic building.

The rainbow flag originated in San Francisco in 1978. Designed by artist Gilbert Baker, it has become a worldwide symbol of gay pride and gay-friendly areas. The red in the flag symbolises life, orange denotes healing, yellow is for sunlight, green represents nature, blue stands for harmony and violet signifies spirit.

Mardi Gras CEO, Terese Casu, said the City has been an important partner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for many years.

“The City’s support has helped grow Mardi Gras into the globally recognised beacon of diversity and acceptance that it is today,” Ms Casu said.

“The raising of the rainbow flag proudly over Town Hall signals the beginning Mardi Gras and 17 sparkling days of festival fun. We invite Sydneysiders and visitors alike to join us in this beautiful city to celebrate our historic 40th anniversary Mardi Gras Festival.”

The City is a government partner of Sydney’s Mardi Gras Festival and will fly the rainbow flag above Sydney Town Hall from Friday 16 February until Sunday 4 March when the festival ends.

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Google's Mardi Gras Parade Grants announced

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and supporting partner Google today announce the recipients of the second annual SGLMG Community Parade Grants Program.

The Google Mardi Gras Parade Grants program is designed to fund and support a diverse range of community ideas and provide grants to individuals, community groups and not-for-profit groups to help lift their parade entries to a completely new artistic level.

The 2018 parade marks the very special 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. As such, the Google Mardi Gras Parade Grants Program has invested further funds to support a greater number of community and not-for-profit groups and organisations. A total of $80,000 in grants has been divided among 31 applicants from all over Australia to help create extra fabulous floats in celebration of the anniversary.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu said: “The Google Parade Grants Program is designed to provide capacity and access support for community groups, and non-profit organizations, so we can help them spread their message around the world on Parade night.”

“From Selamat Datang, who want to show their Indonesian LGBTQI brothers and sisters that they stand with them in solidarity as the constitutional courts classify homosexuality as a mental disorder, to Trans Sydney Pride, who have a something special planned for President Trump, the recipients of these grants all have a powerful message to share,” said Casu.

KJ Pittl, who leads Google Australia's Gayglers group of LGBTQ employees and supporters said: “The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the biggest highlights of the year for many Googlers, and we are proud to continue our partnership. We want to assist as many people as possible to get involved with Mardi Gras - the SGLMG Parade Grants Program was a big success last year, and we’re thrilled to be able to help so many community organisations create fabulous floats for this year’s parade.”

Full List of Google Parade Grant Recipients:

  • Aqualicious Masters Swimming Inc
  • Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives
  • Bentstix Hockey
  • Cairns Tropical Pride
  • Colours of Our Community
  • Departure Lounge
  • Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club
  • ethel yarwood enterprises
  • Evolution of Dance and Divas
  • Flying Bats
  • FOBGAYS
  • Free Gay n Happy
  • Glitterati
  • In Memory of Carmen Rupe
  • Inner City Legal Centre
  • Itty Bitty Titty Committee
  • Mature Age Gays
  • NSW Trans Youth Alliance
  • People With Disability Australia
  • Selamat Datang GLBTQI
  • SM&M The Other 29ers
  • Sydney Rangers
  • Sydney Silverbacks
  • TGLRG - Tasmanian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby
  • The Incredigays
  • The Kirby Institute
  • Trans Sydney Pride
  • Trikone Australasia
  • Turing Circle
  • twenty10
  • Wonder Mama & The Warriors of Love
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