Monday, March 05, 2007

Moving Mayhem and Marching

The weekend started at 3pm on Friday. Chris and I drove over to Concord West to collect all of my crap and drive it to my new place. We did 2 trips and it was a great relief to have all my stuff out of my parents' house and in my new bedroom.

Saturday morning we did some shopping for housey things, got the cat's some collars w/tags and got them engraved. They look very cute. Chris wanted to have a nanna nap so I went to the new pad and started unpacking etc. I have sooo much wardrobe space. It's excellent.

At about 2:30pm I gave myelf a haircut and started getting ready for the evening ahead. A week or so ago I volunteered my services to a friend who was making a float for the Mardi Gras parade. He said it was almost finished but they needed some more people to march. I said I'd think about it and after about 30 seconds I said i'd do it. "What the heck?", i thought, "You only live once".

Living in Sydney my whole life I really had no excuse as to why I hadn't attended the Mardi Gras Parade... but I just hadn't. I'd come as close as Town Hall steps when I was about 17 but we ended up getting drunk in a park in Burwood instead. (classy)

I think I had certain misconceptions with what the Mardi Gras was all about. When I was younger I disliked the way it seemed to portray a stereotype of homosexual men that I neither liked nor conformed to.

In more recent years when my managers have asked me if I was going I would simply say, "It's not really my thing". I'd seen the parade on TV hosted by some god-awful drag queens and B-Grade celebrities, and although some of the men were quite sexy I didn't see the big appeal.

As soon as I found a seat on the train at Redfern I started shitting myself. What the fuck had I gotten myself into? What is this Mardi Gras Parade business all about?

As I sat in Hyde Park yesterday afternoon, an hour before I was due to be at the meeting place for our float, I lay down on the grass and looked around me. People were already lining the streets and the atmosphere reminded me of how I felt on the day of the school fete when everyone was setting up their various stalls. (I don't know why exactly). There were mums, dads, babies, drag queens, bears, kids, leather clad people, trannies, Jews etc.

I was fighting an internal battle. I really didn't want to march, and I can't say why. Maybe I didn't want to march up Oxford Street going "Look at me, I'm a fag". I didn't want people to think I wanted to be looked at. I hate glitter. I am fine with my sexuality but I don't need everyone else to be fine with it. But I wanted to support my friend and his work, and I wanted to stick to my word.

I think the thing that made up my mind was the overwhelming sense of community. Not gay community, but just community. It was strange to sit there and not know why I wasn't cool with this whole Mardi Gras thing. It seemed stupid to not want to be a part of this community feeling. So I got up and wandered to the meeting place and met my fellow marchers just in time to be led down to the holding area.

The holding area was jam packed with floats, performers and people of all shapes, sizes and inclinations. In elaborate costumes, in "petite" costumes or in no costume at all in some cases (both naked or civvies). The atmosphere was electric. As each float had the finishing touches applied and tested their sound systems, the members of the float would rehearse their choregraphed dance moves one last time... Everyone else would have a bit of a boogie if they found the music to their liking. I bumped into George and Billy at various times and it was nice to be able to share the excitement with people I knew. (Marcus and Dino were too busy to chat; running around like headless chooks).

As the sun went down and the lights came on it was hard not to be excited (and petrified). Float by float the street slowly emptied and I was informed that it was almost time to go. As our sound system cranked up with "Stayin' Alive" I wondered if there was ever a better song written to strut to.

There were sooooo many people. We all kind of boogied as we waved to the crowd and I couldn't help but cheer, "YAY!" over and over again. Some of the people with my float were running up to the crowd kissing randoms but I that's not really my style. I would say 1 in 20 people were waving or making some gesture to us, and if I was to catch their eye I would wave to them. And they'd get excited by that and wave more furiously... and then I'd get excited by that "YAY!". It was a cycle that lasted the whole hour it took us to walk from end to end. The atmosphere and energy was overwhelming. It what seemed like an instant the parade was over and we all looked at each other bright eyed, ear to ear smiles, lost for words.

I left my group and wandered to the Bat and Ball where Chris picked me up. When I arrived home I lay down to rest my eyes and 8 hours later I awoke.

Sunday I got pissed and ate all day... feeling a bit rough today.

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5 Comments:

At 3:00 PM, Blogger billy said...

I am really glad you did it and was so great to see you there. Have to say it was my first time on the opposite side of the fence and definitely made a huge difference! Photos will follow, including you! ;)

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Muzbot said...

It's weird being on the inside of the barricades and having the thousands and thousands of people cheering you along. I had never experienced anything like it. I was sitting in a Thrifty rental van for christ sake and I was cheered along!
Looking forward to Billy's pics.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger seymour said...

Onya timbo - theres so many ready to lay the boot into MG and Sydney homos "adolescent party boys... bitch whine moan" Getting out on the street and being visable with your friends is what it is all about! Congrats on crossing over and experiencing what a wonderful city and community we have here.
Next year your coming to party with Peaches, mac and in the Dome ok!

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger kookyknut said...

Next year I am going to get more involved in it i think. I'd like to work on a float... i think it would make the parade all the more rewarding.

And next year I am DEFINITELY going to the party. No buts about it. See you and Peaches there, Seymour... "2 guys for every girl, every girl". Fuck i love that song :)

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger jaci said...

but goregeous what weeere you wearing!

x

 

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