When most people think of LGBT Mardi Gras, they think of the big, bold celebrations in Sydney, Australia — where every year thousands of revelers take to the streets for a celebration that is known as one of the gayest events in the world. This year’s event in Sydney is even brighter than ever before, with extra star power being provided by Cher, who will perform at the after-party. But 725 kilometers away, the small rural town of Hay — population 2,500 — is planning their own inaugural Hay LGBT Mardi Gras bash, and not everyone in the conservative-leaning community are pleased about it.
Kerri Mijok is one of three organizers who created “Rainbow on the Plains” in an attempt to break down their community’s reputation.
“I don’t think they understand what’s happening. It’s going to be so much fun for the family. It’s a family event,” Mijok said. “A lot of people are worried it’s going to be a naked parade down the street.”
“Originally we were just going to get a group of friends, frock up, have a few cocktails, a fundraiser and watch the 40th anniversary Mardi Gras parade on TV,” says Krista Schade, who is also on the event’s committee.
But things have snowballed. The three-day event includes a a street parade, a party and a recovery brunch. Dozens of people are expected to attend. So much so, the town’s hotels are booked out.
“Whether they are straight, bi, trans, gay, we just want country kids to stop feeling so isolated,” Schade said. “Our town has a pretty horrible history of suicide. If we can have one kid feel better about themselves after coming to a party where everyone was just concentrating on having a great time and being happy in their own skin then we’ve accomplished a huge thing.”
To find out more info about the three-day Hay LGBT Mardi Gras extravaganza, head here.
Featured image via ABC.net.au