Mardi Gras

I knew something was wrong when I opened up the Wentworth Courier --- a little Sydney, suburban weekly --- to see Pete's Party Products in Woolloongabba, Queensland, advertising Mardi Gras banners and tinsel accessories.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is fast becoming as commercial as Christmas, and about as meaningful. No doubt, the gay mafia in high command are patting each other on the shoulder pads as they congratulate themselves on how effective they have been in persuading the heterosexuals of the world to support Queerdom. But could they have missed the point? Is it just possible that Straightdom has hijacked the cause and pulled that designer rug out from under their feet?

Look at how conservative Mardi Gras has become lately. Art exhibitions you could take your grandmother to. Theatre that involves nothing more than straight boys in frocks and high heels --- The Footy Show did it much better! And to top it all off the Mardi Gras Party---organised by the gay community --- for heterosexuals and their girlfriends.

Funny how the Mardi Gras Committee always appear to be doing everything to limit the number of heterosexuals at their really big do. Nothing like an unhealthy dose of reverse discrimination to get a party going.

It is also the time of year when politicians of all persuasions bend over backwards to send messages of support to the gay community. Unless of course you are Jeff Kennett, the Victorian Premier, who with impeccable comic timing has just come out in support of his heterosexual Police Minister.

The only thing worth dragging yourself out for this Mardi Gras season is cLUB bENT --- Vile Bitch Diva is the host on Thursday 28th and it is sold out. The rest of the festival is all so straight it may as well be heterosexual.

Or is it just that middle class, conservative homosexuals, with big mouths and little talent call the shots?

My God, even the alternative dance party has been stopped! Where are all the true, pink-blooded homosexuals going to go now?

Oh, there has been the odd bit of controversy. Like that ill conceived replica of the NSW War Memorial --- the RSL whipped themselves into such a frenzy over it they almost extinguished the eternal flame. Then the Council pulled down a poster that it helped put up on that specially created billboard on Taylor Square --- did anyone ever understand what it was all about in the first place?

And then there is the parade. Apparently, SOCOG, the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games are keen to study the event. Could it be they want to study the planning that goes into the event or are they just interested in how the Mardi Gras Committee have managed to get away with charging $75.00 a ticket for the post-parade party? Considering they have sold something like 20,000 tickets you have to wonder what happens to the money?

Taking into account the amount of party drugs that will be taken you can easily double that figure. You don't have to be a genius to realise that someone is making a lot of money.

The silence from those politicians who effectively closed down the Phoenician Club over the drug related death of a teenage girl is positively deafening. Could it be they have finally realised those millions of pink dollars flowing into Sydney via the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras don't pick the most legitimate route?

Overpriced tickets and participants on designer drugs --- no wonder SOCOG is interested! The similarities with Mardi Gras and the Olympics don't stop there though. Opening and closing ceremonies, an influx of foreign tourists, traffic havoc and an army of volunteers. Of course there is also the gratuitous merchandising and political wrangling which all serve to reveal homosexuals in power as no different from everyone else in the human race.

So, as the parade winds its sponsored way up Oxford Street in a haze of drug induced ecstasy and Poppy King lipstick to a sanitised telecast by Channel 10, I'll crack open a mineral water and drink a toast to the time I was arrested for simply kissing in public --- it was an exciting time to live.