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

  • Published in Latest

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

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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.



NYC Pride announces 2018 theme

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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

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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.”


Britney Spears to receive GLAAD Vanguard Award

  • Published in Music

The global pop icon has influenced millions of people in the LGBTQ community, and she'll personally attend GLAAD's event on April 12 to receive an accolade recognizing so.

Previous GLAAD Vanguard Award honorees include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, Demi Lovato, Eric McCormack, Josh Hutcherson, and Patricia Arquette.

"She has consistently stood up for LGBTQ youth on GLAAD’s Spirit Day by going purple on social media to speak out against bullying," it reads. "In 2015, she released a Spirit Day video and promoted participation in the anti-bullying campaign by organizing a meet-and-greet for LGBTQ fans, washing her stage at Planet Hollywood purple, and providing anti-bullying materials to concertgoers."

"In 2016, she was among over 20 music artists to appear on GLAAD's song “Hands,” released with Interscope Records to remember the 49 lives taken in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. The musical tribute to the victims of Orlando, written by Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and Blood Pop, benefited Equality Florida, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and GLAAD."

"In 2017, Spears was among 140 leading entertainers including Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Laverne Cox, and Whoopi Goldberg to speak out in an open letter against two anti-LGBTQ bills, which targeted transgender youth in Texas and were later defeated. Most recently, Spears sparked global attention when she wore a t-shirt stating ‘We Are All Dreamers’ and called on Congress to pass the Dream Act via Instagram."

GLAAD also mentions her letter to a young gay man who considered suicide, and credited not going through with it to her music and lyrics – it gave him the courage to continue fighting. She wrote to him: “I was very happy to hear how courageous you’ve been about being openly gay. I’ve always been told as long as you know in your heart that’s what matters most.”

Most recently, for LGBTQ Pride Month in 2017, Queen B penned a heartwarming love letter to the LGBTQ community published in Billboard Pride, telling the community that their unwavering loyalty and acceptance uplift and inspire her. “I have a secret to share with you. You see it’s actually you that lifts me up. The unwavering loyalty. The lack of judgment. The unapologetic truth. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people.”

And here's something you may not know. After a gay couple who met at the opening of Piece of Me married, Brit surprised them with a touching video to send congratulations and show her support for marriage equality.

"Honored to be receiving the Vanguard Award at the @GLAAD Media Awards this year!," Britney wrote on Instagram. "The LGBTQ community means the absolute world to me and inspires me every day. I am proud to be an ally and I will continue to support equality and acceptance for all!!"

Britney will receive her honor at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at Beverly Hilton on April 12.

Britney is also booked to appear in the UK at Brighton Pride as the headliner this year, with the event selling out in seconds.

britney glaad


Source:   |   @POPrepublic   |   POPrepubic on FB  |   POPrepublic on Instagram


Google's Mardi Gras Parade Grants announced

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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

Sydney New Years Eve Rainbow waterfall heralds new dawn for equality

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A rainbow waterfall of fireworks will cascade from Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the dramatic technicolour fireworks would confirm Sydney as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world and celebrate Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality.

"This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 – the year that four out of five Sydneysiders said a resounding 'Yes' to marriage equality," the Lord Mayor said.

"The rainbow waterfall is a well-earnt tribute to the Sydney 78ers who marched for gay rights 40 years ago – it's a reminder of how far we have come and how far we have left to achieve true equality for our LGBTI community. It's a wonderful way to ring in the New Year, and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras.

"With more fireworks than ever before, this year's Sydney NYE celebration guarantees to be the biggest, brightest and best in the world.

"Sydney New Year's Eve contributes an estimated $133 million to the local economy and puts Sydney on the map as a global city for tourism, business, events and creativity on every level."

It takes Sydney fireworks director Fortunato Foti and the crew from Sydney family company Foti Fireworks International more than 5,000 hours to create the New Year's Eve display.

"The challenge this year was to create never-before-seen displays. Out of this we've created some great effects that I'm looking forward to sharing with the people of Sydney and the world," Mr Foti said.

"This waterfall effect is a first for the bridge and we've chosen the rainbow colours that work best for fireworks: red, yellow, green, blue, purple and silver."

Mr Foti says there will be more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects on the night, setting a new record for the annual event's 9pm and midnight displays, with:

8 tonnes of fireworks – 1 tonne more than in 2016
13,000 shells – 1,000 more than 2016
30,000 shooting comets – 5,000 more than 2016

Inner-Sydney artist Nadia Hernández is the creative artist for this New Year's Eve and a series of bright artwork designs have inspired vibrant colour palette for the fireworks.

This year the 9pm and midnight firework display and the dramatic lighting effects beamed from the Sydney Harbour Bridge will feature new pastel shades, including bright orange, pink, lime green and light blue.

Her artwork designs also feature inspirational words, including wonder, harmony, hope and together, which will feature in the animations projected onto the harbour bridge pylons on the night.

"I included these words in the New Year's Eve artworks because they reflect my love of Sydney and send a positive message of hope for Australia and the world as we move into a new year," Ms Hernández said.

"The words and colours are all about what a wonderful place Sydney is in summer – spending time outdoors with family and with friends – and that sums up New Year's Eve in Sydney, too.

"It's such an honour to have been chosen by the City to be the creative artist for New Year's Eve. This project really has been a dream come true for me."

This year the Welcome to Country will include a tribute marking the 50th anniversary of the Sydney-San Francisco sister city relationship that will be celebrated in 2018.

A message from the Muwekma Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco Bay area will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons at the close of the evening's Welcome to Country.

Sydney New Year’s Eve creative consultant Rhoda Roberts AO said the message marked a close connection between the two cities' First Peoples.

"There is a lovely connection between Sydney and San Francisco – both cities are very similar in their geography and both cities have a strong and vibrant Indigenous culture," Ms Roberts said.

"There's a great synergy between the histories of the First Peoples of these two great cities. The language, the stories and the rituals of the Indigenous peoples here and in San Francisco have survived recognised and honoured, and are still strong today."

At the close of New Year's Eve Welcome to Country, the following words in the language of the Muwekma Ohlone people will appear: "Makkin Mak Muwekma Wolwoolum, Akkoy Mak-Warep, Manne Mak Hiswi!", which translates: "We Are Muwekma Ohlone, Welcome To Our Land, Where We Are Born, San Francisco Bay Area".

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said the city was proud to be Included in Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations.

"We are honored that 2018 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of our Sister City friendship which has built common understanding, cooperation and partnership across the Pacific," Mayor Lee said.

"In January our San Francisco delegation will be visiting your beautiful city and joining with your citizens in celebrating 50 years of friendship and to set the foundation for another 50 years of citizen diplomacy.”

The 2017 New Year’s program highlights include:

6pm Pre-show entertainment
8.38pm Welcome to Country ceremony
9pm Family fireworks display
9.15pm Harbour of Light Parade
midnight Spectacular 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display

Getting in and out of the city centre is different on New Year’s Eve. There will be road closures, on-street fencing and diversions to help people get around safely and move crowds to transport. Visit for detailed information.

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