Went to do the Fair Play stall at Mardi Gras Fair Day in Victoria Park. Mingled with fairgoers, handing out info cards with links to drug rights and details for free legal advice if partygoers are busted by cops with sniffer dogs.
With the news, just three days ago, that police had set an annual quota of 250,000 strip searches, everyone in the inner west is pretty upset at the moment, since we’ve been corralled when exiting from Newtown Train Station, just so police can search us to tick their boxes.
Fair Play was set up after the bashing of Jamie Jackson by police in 2013. Read the latest updates if you are wanting to party safely. [I’ve been involved since the initiative started in 2013, due to many partying friends suffering serious misadventures and deaths.]
Went to ACON’s Bondi Badlands Historical Violence Walking Tour today. Author/journalist Greg Callaghan filled us in on each victim’s life story and pointed out the general vicinity of where they had been murdered by juvenile homophobic gangs. It was organised by ACON project manager for safety, inclusion and historical justice, the lovely Michael Atkinson.
The walk, around the clifftop from Bondi Icebergs to Tamarama, started off sunny, but was soon totally freezing with biting wind and rain and we were huddled together with heads bowed like those penguins during winter in Antartica. Luckily, we found shelter at the public toilets in Marks Park — a popular beat where many post-Mardi Gras parties and celebrations had been held. It was also, unfortunately, the scene of many murderous homophobic crimes. But happily, it will also be where a memorial will be placed to remember those we lost.
I used to live in Bondi during 1991-1994, and the clifftop walk was a renowned danger spot at night, as there were no railings, no lighting, and gangs of drunk youths used to hang around there, do drugs and bash people.
Made a short vid about our visit to Maynard’s Madd Club held at Red Bar, Glebe.
Renowned gay columnist Lance chose the first hour of songs, then we enjoyed Maynard’s picks. Vids played in the background, some featuring long-gone friends from GLBTIQ events held since the early 2000s.
It was the 40th Anniversary and so amazing. The numerous dance venues created a mini city and it was as buzzy and packed as the peak 1990s era.
Was privileged to be sitting next to a 78er, Peter McEwan from Melbourne, while waiting for Cher’s performance. He’d visited Sydney in 1978 for a national homosexual conference at Paddington Town Hall, and was involved in the protests. “The agenda back then used to include fighting in solidarity for everyone — access to abortion, refugees, women’s rights. I wish that solidarity was still around today. Other issues are important too.” He prefers the term “Queer” to “Gay”, as it’s more gender fluid.
Went with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on their 24th annual Taronga Park Zoo visitation. We’re told to wear sensible shoes, a hat, and that the event will go ahead in all weathers. The first highlight is the amazing ferry trip across Sydney Harbour, with a view of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the visiting Queen Mary cruise ship.
Mostly international Mardi Gras visitors attend this excursion so they can appreciate our local fauna, and the Sisters, led by Mother Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, provide a hilarious commentary of poems dedicated to each animal and – to the shock of attendees – early colonial recipes for eating them! Kangaroo tail is to be made like oxtail soup, and black swans should be cooked in a moderate oven for two hours. There were also tips on how to make a delicious Galah Pie and Roast Wombat!