Sydney Mardi Gras Parade

Thanks to an invitation by local friends, I had the opportunity to join Sydney’s GLADD (Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists) organization on their safe-sex themed float at this year’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney.

The event was completely different from anything I had ever done (including Rio de Janeiro Carnival), so I knew I had to get involved!

After all, the entire premise of Tourist 2 Townie is to get out of your comfort zone and experience a world different from your own… and the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade was exactly that!

The day began early in the basement of a downtown fitness center as the group gathered to put on makeup and costumes to prepare for the evening’s chaos.

The concept behind the costumes was that everyone was dressed as sperm and we had a giant inflatable “egg,” condoms and female birth control tablets to promote safe sex and education.

Once abs were painted on and the glitter was all gone, we all made our way over to the parade’s starting point in me to make our way over to the parade’s starting point in Hyde Park.

According to the official Sydney Mardi Gras Parade website, there were 12,000 participants and 175 floats in this year’s parade, and they all reported to the park to party before we went live!

There was a lot of music and dancing, and very little clothing and inhibitions, it was awesome! Even for a straight man, there was more than enough eye candy for everyone!

The Dykes on Bikes organization kicked things off, and they were followed by participants from the original 1978 parade.

From there, everyone had an float order to follow, and soon enough, it was our turn to march through the 300,000 screaming supporters who came out to watch the parade!

It was an amazing and heart-pounding experience that I will never forget.

A HUGE thank you to these two crazy guys (Tommy and Dane) for the invitation/challenge to join in on this love-inspired event!


If you have a problem watching the video on this page, visit the T2T YouTube Channel to watch – Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (Travel Deeper Australia – Episode 1)

Stay tuned for Episode 2 from Tasmania!!

My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!


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