MARDI GRAS 2017 ISSUE
This year the Mardi Gras theme is CREATING EQUALITY. By its definition, EQUALITY ensures that everyone is treated fairly and equally, and no one is discriminated against for their sexuality, gender identity, race, beliefs, age or abilities.
Mardi Gras has a proud 39-year history of highlighting and fostering rights and equality for LGBTQI individuals and communities. In 2017 the celebration highlights all that has been achieved, and shine a spotlight brightly on ways our communities can work together to eliminate discrimination and prejudice in all its forms.
This years Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras events take over Sydney from 17 February to 5 March.
There are so many events and experiences to take part in this Mardi Gras season.
Here are just a few:
QUEER SCREEN MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL
15 February - 2 March
Queer Screen are proud to have almost 100 screenings across Sydney, Canberra and regional NSW at the 24th Mardi Gras Film Festival. Check out some of the highlights below, or browse the full program to find some of your new favourite LGBTIQ films. Buy a Pass
For more information
FAIR DAY 2017
One of Sydney's best-loved annual free events, FAIR DAY attracts more than 80,000 people. Enjoy wonderful entertainment from the ANZ Main Stage and in the lounge tent all day long. Feast on a selection of international cuisine while perusing wares from local community vendors and learning more about local LGBTQI organisations. Catch the action at the Sports Village and see precious pooches get their moment of fame at DOGGYWOOD.
This year, Fair Day is being held at the Camperdown Memorial Park, Newtown. Please scroll down for more information on the PFLAG stall.
Saturday 25th Feb, Sydney Park
Run for love this Mardi Gras and help fundraise for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby campaigns for same sex marriage. This will be the best fun run you have ever done!!
QUEER THINKING: QUEER WARHOL
Saturday 25th Feb, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Presented in 2017 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in association with the exhibition Adman: Warhol before pop, Mardi Gras' QUEER THINKING series provides new perspectives of identity and equality.
SYDNEY GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS PARADE
Saturday 4th March, 7.30pm, Oxford and Flinders Sts, Sydney
President's Report - February
“In Australia we like to think that we treat everyone fairly, judging everyone according to their character and not the colour of their skin or how they worship or who they love. We also like to think we stand with the underdog, those who are powerless or disadvantaged or simply want the same opportunities in life as everyone else.
Anti-discrimination laws should not only apply to everyone, they should foster in our community the spirit of egalitarianism that we so value. The proposed exemptions are an offence to every one of these values. They deny some people the opportunities others have, they give a special privilege to those who already have positions of authority and power and they continue to stigmatise those who have already suffered stigma enough.”
– Rodney Croome, Spokesperson Just.Equal, speaking to the Senate Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill on 24/01/17.
Rodney was speaking about the proposed amendments to the bill that would allow exemptions for Civil Celebrants and business owners to legally discriminate against same-sex couples.
Our National Spokesperson, Shelley Argent, reported to the Committee:
“As parents, we want our sons and daughters to have the right to marry in a respectful manner, just the same as their peers and siblings. But the proposed amendments are insulting and degrading to the couples and their families and I feel are of great concern to those in regional and rural areas, where communities are known to be generally conservative…Where will this legalised discrimination end?”
Shelley will be present in Canberra on February 13 when the findings of the Senate Enquiry will be released.
We have had a steady stream of enquiries over the last couple of months from family members seeking assistance after another family member has “come out” to them. Often, the enquirers are traumatised by the situation they find themselves in and are unaware of where to turn for help. This is particularly critical when the families come from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. Often they may be seeking someone who can translate and explain the situation to other family members or they may be seeking counsellors, familiar with their own cultural background, who are LGBTI friendly. Even though we have our brochure translated into a number of languages, we realise that we need to do more to be able to offer much needed assistance to a multicultural society. We are endeavouring to build up a data base of LGBTI contacts in the linguistically and culturally diverse communities.
Ray and I were pleased to attend the Surry Hills Police Community Engagement Meeting at Surry Hills Police Station on February 7. It is always good to network with the other LGBTI support, legal and health organisations and to learn about the excellent programs run by NSW Police to help make our city and our state a safer place for the LGBTI community. It was also interesting to have Sergeant Geoff Steer address us on the Bias Crime Unit.
I spent the afternoon writing to North Ryde RSL Community Club, a local club of which we have been members for many years, to express my concern over severe homophobic and racist remarks made at a fundraising dinner of the Q Society, held there last night, February 9. It was reported in the SMH online by Jacqueline Maley that Ross Cameron, former Liberal Party member and Sky News presenter and the cartoonist, Larry Pickering, amongst others, uttered demonising rhetoric against Muslim people and made unrepeatable homophobic comments, including one which targeted the State Liberal Party and another that lambasted the SMH for supporting Marriage Equality in its editorial. I also wrote to our Federal MP, John Alexander and our State MP, Victor Dominello telling them how appalled I was that this deplorable invective could go on in our local Community Club.
To his credit, the manager of North Ryde RSL Community Club wasted no time in responding to me, explaining that he was unaware of the nature of last night’s function, as it was booked under another name. He has posted public statements on their Facebook page and website, explaining that they do not support this organisation. He promised to be more diligent when obtaining details of a booking and to never allow this group or any other of a similar nature to hold an event there again.
Thanks to Pam who represented PFLAG at the Parramatta Queer Forum meeting on February 7. Planning is underway for the Parramatta IDAHOT event on May 17 and events for Wear It Purple Day on August 25 and World AIDS Day on December 1.
Thanks to Ruth & Ron, who have been busy networking, planning and socialising with the many LGBTI groups in the Blue Mountains.
Thanks to all who came along to our January meeting to offer support to new families and thank you to Ruth for facilitating the meeting for us. It was great to catch up with members we hadn’t seen in a while.
I hope to see many of you at Fair Day on February 19 at the new venue of Camperdown Memorial Park at Newtown or at our Family Meeting on February 25. Remember Rudy’s adage: “When you don’t need PFLAG anymore, that’s when PFLAG needs You to help others!”
Sunday 19th February
Fair Day is on Sunday 19th February 2017. This year it is being held at a new venue: Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, Newtown, bordered by Australia, Lennox & Church Sts and Federation Rd.
Fair Day is a family fun day full of entertainment, food, fashion and stalls. Lots to see, do, buy and eat! It is traditionally the Mardi Gras season’s biggest day-time event. Each year dedicated PFLAG people set up the stall early on the Sunday morning. We spend time chatting to our many visitors, giving out information, brochures and booklets, selling our rainbow merchandise, having a good look around, generally having a fun time, and then packing up at 4 pm.
This year, we will have for sale our rainbow fold-up umbrellas, kites, neck lanyards, loom bands and other wrist bands, PFLAG badges, caps, T-shirts and our DVD “Bouncing Castle”.
We have two Raffle Prizes this year
Our main prize will be a beautiful SEIKO watch, kindly donated by Jason Lancett from SEIKO.
The other prize is artwork created by Vanessa Rodriguez: 9 x A3 Superhero Art Prints (valued at $260 total) to be given to one winner as a set.
Tickets are $2 each, $5 for 3, $10 for 7, $20 for 15.
Helpers are very welcome and essential!
Fair Day is also a major fund-raising opportunity for us. Come for a couple of hours or for the day and enjoy the camaraderie, and the chance to talk about PFLAG
This year we need more people to help dismantle the stall about 3.30-4 pm.
Reach Out - Online Resources for Parents
Dr Kerrie Buhagiar, Director of Service Delivery at ReachOut, has written to PFALG advising of an extension to the ReachOut service aimed at providing parents and carers with practical tips, information, peer-support forums, tools and stories to support their 12–18 year-olds.
ReachOut is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents
This service is free, anonymous and accessible.
The purpose of ReachOut Parents is to support parents and carers of 12–18 year-olds to:
develop and maintain secure and stable relationships with their children by learning more about what their teenagers might be experiencing or issues they might be going through
support their teenagers and teach them how to seek help and work through issues independently
learn about mental health issues that often have their onset during adolescence, including what to be aware of, and how to get help for their teenager if and when they need it
improve the wellbeing and resilience of their whole family.
Building upon the support provided directly to 14–25 year-olds through our flagship service ReachOut.com, ReachOut Parents offers:
fact sheets, stories, practical tips and tools covering a range of topics, issues and experiences that are relevant to teenagers aged 12–18 years
online community forums where parents can talk to other parents about their experiences and work through their concerns in a safe, anonymous environment.
Please see: http://about.au.reachout.com/parents-kit for more details.
headspace Campbelltown is running 3x free workshops in March for young people living in the Campbelltown /Macarthur area (under 25 years) that identify as LGBTIQA+ .
There isn’t much in the area to support same sex attracted and gender diverse young people so it's good to see this initiative to link in with young people and let them know headspace is there to help if needed.
It’s also a good opportunity for local young people to connect with each other.
Topics that will be covered will include: healthy relationships and coming out. Please consider informing and parents living in the Campbelltown area to link their LGBTIQA+ young people in with this fun project.
Other Upcoming Events
A Breast Cancer awareness event for LBQ Women created by ACON’s #TalkTouchTest campaign, Cancer Institute of NSW and Breastscreen NSW. Thisis taking place on Feb 25 at Marrickville Town Hall and is a free community event – with free mammograms for anyone over 50
Registrations are here: http://bit.ly/BreastivilleTix
This event is supported by Inner West Council through a Community Grant 2016.