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Huge International LGBTQI+ Celebration World Pride Is Coming to Sydney in 2023

It's the first time the event has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.
By Samantha Teague
October 21, 2019
By Samantha Teague
October 21, 2019

For the first time since it launched in 2000, World Pride is heading to the Southern Hemisphere. And it's not just heading anywhere — the world's largest LGBTQI+ celebration is coming to Sydney. Taking over the city's streets, bars, clubs, galleries and theatres between February and March 2023, the World Pride event will coincide with the 45th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The decision to host the international pride celebration in Sydney was announced overnight with members of InterPride — the organisers of World Pride — voting between Sydney, Montreal (Canada) and Houston (Texas). The Aussie state capital came out on top with a whopping 60 percent of the votes.

Of the host city, World Pride Committee Chair Robyn Kennedy said, "InterPride has recognised how far Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has come since 1978, and now the world will march with us down Oxford Street to celebrate our community and support our region."

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2018 and this year hosted over 100 parties, shows, and late-night shindigs for the annual event. The State Government usually relaxes the lockout laws in the surrounding areas for the local Mardi Gras, but in 2023 they could be gone altogether in the CBD and on Oxford Street. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced plans to repeal the lockout laws in those areas by the end 2019 — they will, however, remain in place in Kings Cross for now. We'll keep our fingers crossed that they'll be wound back by 2023 there, too.

As the Sydney World Pride will be also be the first in the Asia Pacific, it's expected that the celebration will also have a focus on communities and cultures from across the region. In Sydney's bid for the event, organisers said: "it's an opportunity to focus the world's attention on LGBTQI rights, communities and culture in our Asia-Pacific Region. Many of our closest neighbouring countries do not have the same level of equality and human rights as we do."

While Australia finally passed a marriage equality bill in late 2017, the same rights do not exist in many countries in the surrounding region — in fact, same-sex relations are still illegal in some Asia-Pacific countries. The 2023 World Pride will help raise awareness about these issues and help fight for equality for LGBTQI+ people across the region.

For the Sydney event, expect, also, the biggest, most fabulous celebration of pride the city has ever seen, with parades, parties, and more to take over the city. It's expected 25–40 percent more than the usual 1.2 million Mardi Gras visitors will be heading to Sydney for the 2023 event — so it's going to be big, loud and colourful.

World Pride 2023 will take place across Sydney in February and March.

Top image: Jeffrey Feng

Published on October 21, 2019 by Samantha Teague
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