SYDNEY GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY CONSULTATION INTO POTENTIAL NAME CHANGE
By Sam Eacott
Over the past few years, Mardi Gras have often heard from the LGBTQI community that the organisation’s name isn’t as inclusive – only specifying ‘Gay’ and ‘Lesbian’, without mention of transgender, bisexual, intersex, or any other sexuality or gender identity. Many Mardi Gras members, community groups, event organisers, patrons and visitors question how to make the festival more inclusive and how the name could reflect the community and our people’s diversity more accurately.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is now beginning a consultation process with its members, supporters and wider community on ideas, concerns and hopes for any name change.
Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu said, “Mardi Gras has had many members, community groups and visitors over the year’s question us on how we’re making our festival more inclusive and how our name could reflect our community and our people’s diversity more accurately, so we feel it’s an important step to take in talking to the community to see what can be done to be more inclusive and reflect all the vibrant colours of everyone under and over the rainbow.”
Mardi Gras Co-Chair Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco adds, “Consistently with our Strategic Plan and commitment to Social Justice, the Board feel the time is right to engage our communities on how inclusion can better reflect who we are and what we do. We do not take the matter lightly and understand that a change to our organisation’s name can only happen by a vote of our members at a General Meeting. Our members will have the ultimate say, but we want to live up to our commitment for inclusion that’s what the proposed name change is for: supporting members of our community who feel excluded.”
Mardi Gras will hold a Community Consultation Event at 4pm on Sunday 7 April at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street Darlinghurst. REGISTER HERE
Mardi Gras members will be invited to engage in the discussion over the next few weeks and to complete a survey at the end of the consultation process to select a name.
Community members are starting to share their thoughts, including Dannii Minoque and Katherine below. xx