Updated: Mar 6
If you have been in Sydney over the past few weeks you will have seen the city painted rainbow for World Pride. As I walked through those kaleidoscopic coloured streets I clutched my World Pride Opening Concert ticket in hand. This ticket was kindly gifted to Woven Threads by Alana Chetner, our friend at Etoile PR. The concert featured a lineup of Jessica Mauboy, Charli XCX and Kylie Minogue. To some degree, this choice bothered me. Rather than belonging to the LGBTQI+ community, these artists had been heralded as allies to the community. The lineup demonstrated the power that corporations, like World Pride, still have in deciding to amplify and financially support non-queer voices over queer voices. Although slightly disgruntled by this, I nonetheless enjoyed the headlining artists, as well as the smaller, queer artists who played throughout the concert. World Pride went all out, transforming the usually serene Domain into the biggest party of the year.
Six years ago, I had walked the same passage towards Oxford St for my first Mardi Gras. Back then, I was a young queer person, grappling with the formative queer experiences of fighting for marriage equality, meeting first loves and holding in an untellable secret. I saw 15 year old me everywhere this weekend. Teenagers were out en masse, hesitantly holding their partners’ hands or tugging along encouraging parents. I recognised the hesitation in their faces as if it were my own. But I could also read something else in these young people: something that I hadn’t felt when I was their age. A calmness flowed from them; a sense of belonging. For me, progress sometimes seems so gradual as to be static. The fight for equality is an arduous one, but seeing the self-doubt in those young queer people begin to fade made me remember how worthwhile it is.