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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras spotlights Asia-Pacific region Pride

Each year, Pride for the Asia-Pacific region plays out on a large stage when people head to Sydney, Australia, for its Mardi Gras.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras spotlights Asia-Pacific region Pride
Posted at 6:22 PM, May 31, 2023

June is Pride month in the United States. But for the LGBTQ community and their loved ones around the world, Pride is celebrated at different times and in many different ways. 

For those in the Asia-Pacific region, a grand and popular celebration is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebration, which dates back to 1978. It began as a small crowd which gathered in Sydney's Taylor Square in June of that year, a cold month for those in the Southern Hemisphere. 

At that time, the group were protesters who came together to contribute to international Gay Celebrations, as they were called there at the time. They faced violence from police and arrests. It was a key moment in LGBTQ history in Australia. 

This year Sydney played host to WorldPride, the largest global LGBTQ event, and an honor bestowed on a different city each year. It was the first WorldPride held in the Southern Hemisphere

Sydney Mardi Gras Chief Executive Officer Albert Kruger, who is leaving the post as CEO, said, "Over the last four seasons it’s been an honour to stand by our communities through the pandemic, and put Sydney on a global stage through WorldPride. I want to thank every member of our LGBTQIA+ communities for their support of Mardi Gras. I look forward to seeing the 2024 season come to life."

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The event is often the place where people from all over the world come to celebrate Pride, and is host to superstars like Kylie and Dannii Minogue. 

This year's celebration was huge, with the famous professional drag queen Courtney Act making a huge splash in the celebration down under.

Kylie Minogue's gay icon status at the event has dated back to 1994 when she came to perform for the first time at the event's after-party at Moore Park. 

Courney Act told the Guardian that it was considered quite the risk for a mainstream artist like Minogue to perform there at that time. 

This year's event in Sydney hosted more than 300 events over 17 days during Sydney's summer in February. 

Over 50,000 people took part in the Pride March across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, making it the largest of its kind in Australia and a huge event, unparalleled in many ways, for the Asia-Pacific region. 

As for the next WorldPride, in 2025 the event will be hosted in Washington, D.C.  The event organizers are honoring the diverse Indigenous peoples who have deeply rooted history connected to the land that makes up the D.C. area and the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers which run through and along Washington. The event hopes to bring more awareness to that important issue while also highlighting issues that affect the LGBTQ community worldwide. 

WorldPride 2025 will mark the 50th anniversary of Pride celebrations in the U.S. Capital. 

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