Fashion icon Amanda Lepore kicked off
Sydney's giant gay pride parade Saturday, The Sydney Morning
The annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Parade drew an estimate 100,000 people along its Oxford Street route
to enjoy more than 135 floats celebrating famous gay and lesbian
people throughout history.
Lepore, a New York artist and
entertainer who transgendered at the age of 17, led the floats as
chief of parade. True to her glamorous image, Lepore strutted out
of William Square dressed in a diamond-studded G-string, and not much
“I have never been to a mardi gras
before and I am excited about having a great time,” she told the
What started 32 years ago as a gay and
transsexual march for equality at a time when being gay was illegal
in Australia has blossomed into one of the world's most celebrated
and lavish gay parties.
Along its main Oxford Street artery
people had begun gathering six hours prior for a prime viewing spot.
Police barricades held back thousands of revelers competing for the
unofficial prize of most outrageous costume.
Matthew Mitcham, the openly gay
Australian diver that wowed at the Olympics in Beijing, led revelers
in the merrymaking last year.
The giant parade comes just days after
Senate killed a gay marriage bill with a decisive blow.
“We don't see why marriage should be
a matter of law – we believe in love, not loins,” said Sylvia
Azey, who was aboard the Brides of Mardi Gras float with her partner