To start with a little background information, I am a 25-year-old Californian male couch-surfing my way across Australia. Only here for two months, my goal is to visit old friends, find some new ones, surf, drink, party, and maybe feel the warm embrace of a lady-friend once in a while.
Being a Californian native, I have been raised to be open-minded and accepting of all walks of life. So when a friend of mine told me about Mardi Gras in Sydney and how wild it was, I had to check it out. Jesus fuck… Probably the wildest spectacle I have ever witnessed. After ripping a thousand beers at our hotel room, I was conned into dressing festively (dressing gay) because, supposedly everyone else will be dressed up. And, furthermore, the clubs in the area won’t let you in unless you are dressed flamboyantly.
So I tossed on a woman’s American-flag dress, threw a little glitter on my face and called myself done. My buddy Steinburger and I hopped into a cab towards the parade. The cabbie dropped us off as close as he could get, which wasn’t close at all, and we hoofed-it on foot the rest of the way. As we got closer to the parade, the police had created these detour paths, which caused a ton of chaos because there were so many people trying to squeeze by. It was pretty annoying but it was good for people-watching: half naked chicks with nothing on other than nipple-tassels and G-strings, gay dudes wearing only their whitey-tighties looking like Abercrombie models, drag queens, and so on and so on.
After pushing our way through a sea of people, Steinburger and I were able to find a hole in the crowd and watch the parade. It was mental! The parade runs for about three or four hours. We only caught about 45 minutes of the tail end of it, but it was incredible. Picture thousands of people dancing down the street wearing basically nothing and holding rainbow flags. The floats were the best part though. The best way to describe it would be to think: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade back in the US was cummed on by a gay unicorn and dried off with a rainbow coloured towel – glitter, bright colors, and neon everywhere – amazing. Every float seemed to be better than the last.
The climax of the night was when a float called Hardcore Heaven rolled through. It was dedicated to bondage – people whipping people, and everyone dressed up in leathers and going to town on each other. There was a man in a pink schoolgirl’s outfit whipping some poor woman in leathers. But that is nothing. At the back of the float, there was a 150kg black man wearing nothing but a chain mill, medieval-style mask and a black G-string. His job was to whip someone tied to a metal fence with the biggest whip on earth.
The parade ended at around 11pm and we ended up going to some random club with our friends and some German backpackers we met. Needless to say, it was one of the raddest nights of my life. I’m not gay, and neither are probably 60 per cent of people out that night, but it was a blast partying with tens of thousands of people that are pumped on having a good time and expressing themselves however they want. All the power to them.
So if you are ever in Sydney at the end of February go to the Mardi Gras Parade! It is something that you will never forget.
March 2nd, 2012