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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.


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.”


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



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 is a platinum media partner of NYC Pride.

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



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. is a platinum partner of NYC Pride.

Join the NYC Pride Group HERE


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.”


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.


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
  • 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

Lobby calls for reform to victims of crime laws

The Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) has made a submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s review of the Victim of Crime Assistance Act, calling on the law reform body to recommend changes to the Act better protect Victorian LGBTI people.

One of the VGLRL’s major concerns is that the Act may limit the ability of unmarried same-sex partners to access compensation.
"There is no guarantee that unmarried same-sex partners, including those in registered relationships, will be recognised as related victims of crime. This is out-of-step with contemporary values and, moreover, unfairly discriminates against unmarried partners," said VGLRL Co-Convenor Dale Park.

The VGLRL has recommended that the law be changed to allow unmarried same-sex partners to access compensation without a time or living together requirement on the relationship.

“There are a number of different definitions of domestic partner used throughout Victorian law, which is one of the faults of de facto couple recognition in the state. The Victorian Government has committed to examine proposals for further reform to strengthen the rights of same-sex couples in this term of government, and we expect that this is one of the issues that they will address,” said Mr Park.

The VGLRL is also concerned that the Act contains strict requirements that an act of violence be reported to police within a reasonable time.

“LGBTI people are more reluctant to report violence to police because of actual or perceived discrimination and harassment, including a fear of ‘outing’,” said Mr Park.

The VGLRL has recommended that the sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status of the victim as a factor to be taken into account in determining whether an act of violence was reported to police within a reasonable time, and that the Act should provide for alternative reporting provisions, including reporting to professionals, agencies and peer support groups.

“We look forward to consulting with the Law Reform Commission and the Government on reforming the law to provide better access to compensation for LGBTI victims of crime. LGBTI victims of crime and their partners should not have to jump through unnecessary hoops in order to access compensation,” concluded Mr Park.


Jessica Mauboy returns to Eurovision

Jessica Mauboy will be competing for Eurovision glory in 2018, as Australia’s representative in Lisbon, Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be broadcast exclusively on SBS from May 9 to 13, 2018.

Eurovision aficionados are well aware that in 2014, Jessica made history when she was invited to perform as an interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark, being the first non-European solo artist to do so. This time, she’s competing for Australia and a shot at Eurovision glory.

The 2018 contest will mark Australia’s fourth year of competing in the event, following a remarkable record of three top ten finishes, with Guy Sebastian’s fifth place in 2015, Dami Im’s second place in 2016, and Isaiah Firebrace coming ninth in the 2017 contest, which was held earlier this year in Kyiv, Ukraine. Since joining the competition, Australia’s results of 5th, 2nd and 9th put Australia second only to Sweden over the past three years.


Who voted against equality in Australia?

It was an overwhelming victory for equality in Australia - but let us not forget those who voted against the will of the Australian people and in some cases, their electorates. The following list shows those that voted NO and those that abbott-stained... we mean abstained from even voting.

Who abstained from the same-sex marriage vote?

  • Barnaby Joyce (Nationals)
  • Tony Abbott (Liberals)
  • Andrew Hastie (Liberals)
  • Michael Sukkar (Liberals)
  • Kevin Andrews (Liberals)
  • Scott Morrison (Liberals)
  • George Christensen (LNP)
  • Rick Wilson (Liberals)
  • Stuart Robert (Liberals)
  • Bert van Manen (Liberals)


What about no votes?

  • Bob Katter (independent)
  • Russell Broadbent (Liberal)
  • Keith Pitt (Nationals)
  • David Littleproud (Nationals)


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