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Meet a Mardi Gras Participant: Krissy Andersson - An Ally

  • Written by  Lisa McMahon
  • Published in Interview

Can you believe that we only have 24 hours until the parade? What are you doing this year?

I am marching with Pride in Diversity for workplace pride! I am a dance captain and am leading the back left of our group.

All the entries are keeping their theme and costumes close to their chest this year. What can you tell me about Pride in Diversity?
I don't know how much I can reveal, but we are LGBTI and Ally professionals - from the top companies of Australia!
So we are marching dressed as professionals with briefcases filled with very important things... Lights!

I think I am going to suggest the Mardi Gras theme of "Secret" next year! So, what do you think about this year's theme of "Kaleidoscope"?
When I think of kaleidoscope I think of individuality. No frame is the same in a kaleidoscope. It makes me think we are celebrating everyone's individuality and its ok for everyone to not be the same.

This isn't your first time dancing up Oxford Street
I marched with PiD last year. It has always been a goal of mine as my birthday is on the 2nd March. I have been a LGBTI advocate for a very long time.

You will have to collect birthday kisses tomorrow night. Who is going to help you celebrate?
My best friend of 21 years is marching with us. She marched with us last year as well, and even though she is a shy girl, she said it was the best time of her life!

This is probably pre-history for you, but back in the 90's there was a controversial push for Mardi Gras to be exclusively gay and lesbian rather than inclusive. Now the feeling has completely turned, where we love having you there supporting us. Why do you identify as an Ally?
My parents are from Sweden and that is a very inclusive and accepting culture so I was brought up that way. Plus I hate seeing people upset. So I want to do as much as possible so that one day it will be a non-issue in Australia.

Tell me more about the Ally movement
An Ally is someone who supports the LGBTI community through their advocacy for equality. It means that if you hear some inappropriate language or see an LGBTI person being bullied or harassed, you address it. It's not a negative or aggressive thing, its intelligent conversation!

I do this through my role as the Chair of Westpac Group's Employee Action Group for LGBTI employees (GLOBAL).

I stress all year about my Mardi Gras body. What are you doing to look hot for the night?

Hahahaha! um.... it needs to get ready?!?!
I've been doing a lot of rehearsing!!!

I am going to get you to "dance captain" me and the rest of the team tomorrow. You can judge if we really think we can dance. It might surprise you which members of our crew are the professional dancers!

OK! Another champagne? Then beauty sleep!
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