Sydney's evolution as an accepting, diverse, cosmopolitan city is now on show at the pop-up Mardi Gras Museum.
The museum, in a shop front provided by the City on the corner of Oxford and Palmer Streets, provides insights into the history of the world's largest night time GLBT parade, the annual Sydney Mardi Gras.
The first Mardi Gras Parade, on 24 June, 1978, was promoted as a night time parade and fiesta. It began as a peaceful march down Oxford Street and ended with police brutality in Kings Cross. In the following 35 years Mardi Gras has evolved into the celebration envisaged by its original organisers, with a NSW Police contingent now an established feature of the Parade.
The museum chronicles these changes, featuring many exhibits that are rarely, and in some cases, never seen in public.
More Mardi Gras history will be on show when an exhibition of Mardi Gras costumes by Ron Muncaster opens at the Tap Gallery on 18 February. Ron's costumes were a highlight of Mardi Gras Parades throughout the 1980s, and contributed to Mardi Gras reputation for colourful flamboyance.
At the end of February, 100 Voices will go live on the Pride History Group website. Supported by a City of Sydney cultural grant, 100 Voices brings together interviews with 100 lesbians and gay men who have contributed to the development of Sydney's GLBT community.
The interviews will be available through the Pride History Group website, making them readily accessible to researchers and others wanting to know more about the GLBT community's history.
It is important that we make the GLBT community's rich history more widely known. For people growing up today, the persecution and violence faced by past generations may be hard to imagine. I hope you can take the time to visit the pop-up museum and exhibition and share this important part of our community's history.