Mainstream News – Bernadette Smallwood

In 1994, the Sydney Mardi Gras paraded on Oxford Street like never before.

Heads held high with mainstream attitude…. a flurry of colour and statement ABCed into everyday living rooms.

People cheered and tousled, and gleefully danced around.  There was excitement, enchantment and celebration in Sydney town.

The ABC reported of brides and grooms in bridal skirts and top hats.  Stunning and amazing… there was pizazz in that. 

Leather and pride flashed on the screen with tight butts and cute tops.  They tooted a fashion vista of skin, belts and boots that looked hot.


There were cowboys and fairies and flash trash from The Tool Shed.  600,000 spectators applauded as the parade floated freely to where it led.  

People frolicked and strutted, and skipped together to be televised.  Some rode their toys, others moved with a shimmy, all showed delight and joy in their eyes.

Diverse people represented themselves with high esteem and frocking pride.  Daytime jobs made no difference… marking an equal celebration to be recognised.

In lycra attire a marching army set their fitness steps to the Pet Shop Boys cry.  The melody of ‘Go West’ beating forth, it announced a new frontier to try.

Enthusiastic support ensured the first broadcast was a huge rating success!  In a Sunday evening timeslot, ABC highlights were viewed as the very best.

In 1994 the Sydney Mardi Gras theme heralded ‘We Are Family’.  

Beaming out across TV, stepping out as a collective, dancing in union, singing as one.

Being seen to be seen, seeking no more than the average, moving to the march of a new future’s beat.