The Post Office Hotel in the far north town of Cloncurry last night kicked off a weekend of outback Mardi Gras fun for the local gay cowboys, cowgirls and their local allies.
The western Queensland cattle town sits smack bang in Bob Katter’s federal electorate of Kennedy. 53.3% of that electorate voted No during the same-sex marriage postal survey in 2017.
Publican Trevor Jones previously took a bucking bull float to the 2016 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney.
He told the Brisbane Times most locals reacted positively to the event.
“The majority of the town is excited to take part in something they haven’t witnessed before.”
He said some local mothers with children away at school, intended attending to represent their kids.
“For me, being raised in the outback, I like to promote alternative ideas to the community so they can experience what is out there.”
My visits to Cloncurry
This writer previously visited Cloncurry a handful of times, admittedly just passing through on the way to Mount Isa. ‘The Curry’, as the locals call it, is a beautiful town and the people are lovely.
Though, I was a little taken aback by my first conversation with the local who served me in a servo.
“Gidday. Just the petrol?”
“Could I have a sausage roll too, please?”
“Sure. We don’t get many of your sort out here.”
WTF! Madam instinctively prepared to turn nasty.
“Yeah. Most women out here can’t keep the make-up on in the heat.”
“Oh… okay. I’m from Cairns.”
“That explains it. You’d be used to the heat then.”
Anyway, the outback sausage roll was bucking huge. Instead of some dry meat-like substance in flakey roll, it was an actual sausage in the most wonderful pastry – and from a servo! Best sausage roll I had in my life. No wonder they call the town the Inland Beef Capital.
Limited LGBTIQ scene
Barry Byrne from nearby Mount Isa told the Brisbane Times that north-west Queensland possessed a very limited LGBTIQ scene.
“Most people who I know responded reasonably well when I came out. They are very polite and friendly still.
“It is not terrible, but is certainly not easy.”
The party began at the Post Office Hotel last night with drag shows. It continues tonight with a live stream of the Sydney parade and a costume competition.
Happy Bucking Mardi Gras to all you gay cowboys and cowgirls in Cloncurry.
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