Drag star Courtney Act has given a brief history of Sydney Mardi Gras ahead of the parade tonight, and explained why it’s more important than ever.
In the video produced by MTV Australia, Courtney explains that Mardi Gras wasn’t always sequined hot pants, fake tan and glitter… It all began in 1978, when hundreds marched down Sydney’s Oxford Street to protest the law that made homosexuality illegal.
After a clash with police and the arrest of 53 of the protesters, the Sydney Morning Herald published a list of their names, outing them to family and friends and causing many of them to lose their jobs.
Since then, a contingent of those original protesters – known as the 78ers – have lead the Mardi Gras march in a red double decker bus.
Organisers expect more than 300,000 spectators from all over the world are expected to pack Sydney’s Oxford Street to view the parade, and the finishing touches have been applied to the 184 fabulous floats set to appear.
The parade will be streamed live tonight on SBS On Demand and YouTube before hosts Faustina Agolley, Patrick Abboud, Em Rusciano and Joel Creasey host the full telecast on SBS from 8:30pm on Sunday.