- October 10, 2019
LGBTIQ+ personalities and allies from around the Asia-Pacific have backed Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ bid to host WorldPride 2023.
WorldPride is the largest global gathering of LGBTIQ communities and a different city hosts the festival every two years.
In a new video, a number of familiar Australian faces from music, screen and politics including The Veronicas, Courtney Act, Sam Sparro, Delta Goodrem, Samantha Jade and Penny Wong.
Representatives from around the APAC region also join the local stars to show their support for Sydney’s bid.
Mardi Gras Board Member and 78er Robyn Kennedy is chair of the committee leading the bid. She said Mardi Gras had received “overwhelming” support for the bid at home.
But she said many others the Asia-Pacific stand to benefit the most.
“Australia has always been a safe space for LGTQI+ people from neighbouring countries in Asia-Pacific,” Kennedy said.
“Sydney Mardi Gras’ bid aims to allow the voices of LGBTQI+ communities across the region to be heard.”
Kennedy said Sydney’s bid draws attention to LGBTIQ human rights abuses in Asia-Pacific, with 30% of the region still criminalising same-sex sexual activity.
WorldPride provides an opportunity for many LGBTIQ people from neighbouring Asia-Pacific countries to celebrate pride in a safe space as equals.
“Many LGBTQI people in Asia Pacific are unable to celebrate pride in their own countries,” Kennedy said.
“WorldPride in Sydney would provide the opportunity to celebrate pride in a welcoming city.”
The successful bid would also bring the event here for the 45th anniversary of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Sydney up against two other cities for WorldPride 2023
Two other cities are competing with Sydney for WorldPride 2023: Montreal in Canada and Houston, Texas in the United States.
If Mardi Gras is successful in its bid, it will be the first WorldPride held in the Southern Hemisphere. Mardi Gras says the event has the potential to attract over 1 million attendees.
InterPride, the international association of pride organisations, will declare the winner later this month. They will make the announcement at their AGM in Athens on October 20, following a vote by members.
NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said WorldPride is “a global event and it belongs in Australia’s global city.”
“Sydney is renowned for our inclusive and welcoming culture for all LGBTQI+ visitors,” he said.
“I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate this than by hosting WorldPride2023.”
WorldPride was first held in Rome in 2000. Since then, Jerusalem, London, Toronto and others have hosted the festival.
This year’s WorldPride was in New York City and coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots on June 28.