“Beyond the Rainbow”: a reflection on the Mardi Gras experience

Credit to @jordankmunns

Good morning/evening readers, especially to the girls, gays, theys, and all those in between and allies! 

Earlier this year, I joined Western Sydney University as a dancing marcher for the 46th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on March 2nd.   

This year, Western Sydney University’s participants chose the theme ‘Beyond the Rainbow’, which symbolizes the vast number of diverse stories within the LGBTQ+ community and how bright and beautiful one can become by finally shining a light on oneself.  

As if they were bodies of water, the light projecting out to the world reflected their unique yet relatable stories. One could even say they would be a symbol of hope to others. 

Credit to @jordankmunns

From a first-hand experience, it was spectacularly beautiful. The spirits of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies alike unapologetically radiated their support and pride as they marched as one in Oxford St, Flinders St, and Anzac Pde. 

Credit to @queercollective.uws

As a marcher myself at the time, alongside 12,000 others, I noticed that as those in the parade marched to the beat of their drum and danced to the music, their souls danced in harmony and unison, ultimately emitting a kaleidoscope of colours, music, dancing, and story.  

To many people, this event would be one chapter in their story that they could look back on—a time when they stepped into the limelight proudly as their most authentic selves. 

Credit to @queercollective.uws

This was my first Mardi Gras experience; from a first-hand perspective, it was a wonderful experience. I am thankful to have attended it. Additionally, all students of Western Sydney should attend, even once in their lifetime. 

Luci Kugathasan

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