Sunday, March 05, 2017

Poof Christmas

The weekend is Mardi Gras in Sydney, with an estimated viewing crowd of around 300,000. When we attended the parade in the mid to late 1990s, it was well over 400,000, the biggest year for crowd attendances, as far as I know. When we met Victor from Sydney yesterday who does not live too far from the parade route, he mentioned what he now enjoys is seeing the parade/subsequent party attendees the next morning. Yes, they will be wasted by drugs and alcohol, some still in party mode, but many fading badly. Their tans, muscles or slimness, and hair all hold up though. Just maybe not their makeup.

Should you wish to brunch the day after Mardi Gras in Sydney's inner eastern to south eastern/western cafes, there is a very good chance you will get excellent service from your waiter still affected by speed, or really bad service by someone who is coming down from their big night out and whatever they have indulged in.

There is a classic photo taken many years ago of the morning after Mardi Gras party attendees sitting in the gutter of I think Little Oxford Street with perhaps a drink in hand. The details are foggy for me, but we did that a few years after the classic photo was taken, when we attended Mardi Gras.

Oh look, how cute of Google Maps to have made the parade route rainbow coloured. Be afraid. Google is very ingratiating.


Saturday, we brunched with two gay men, neither of who were at Mardi Gras later that evening, and one was from Sydney. In the evening we dined with two gay men, neither of whom were at Mardi Gras. Our Dyke Friend is travelling and we are looking after Dog Jack for the last time before she moves to Tasmania. She is not at Mardi Gras. As far as I know, no gay workmate has gone to Mardi Gras this year. Maybe our gay Friend in Japan viewed the parade from her Sydney hotel room. That she is on a work trip could get a room with a view of the parade tells you something.

Mardi Gras is probably still a lot of fun for the young gay kiddies who are out there, those who love to dress up and parade. Still a good spectacle, still good for those who like to perform in public and those hard core dance party animals, gay, straight and anything in between. Sydney seems to breed and attract very fluid people.

But you know what most gay people were doing in Australia on the night of Sydney's Poof Christmas? Probably doing what I am doing as I write this, at home watching an earlier recording from tv of Call the Midwife, or something similar.......maybe knitting or maybe pondering how they can clean up their garbage tip of a home.

Gay stereotypes can be useful, but so few of us fit.  Men who have sex with men cannot be categorised and have only two things in common, being male and liking men in that very special and exciting way. (Well, it was once very exciting)

Happy Mardi Gras.

24 comments:

  1. Andrew /i like your point of view in this post

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    1. Thanks Gosia. It is even more apt in your country where things are not quite as free.

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  2. Stereotypes are a cramped and uncomfortable fit for most of us. Says the aging cat-lover.

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    1. EC, I am a shocker for stereotypes. I like to fit people into boxes, when so many just don't. At least not an ageing spinster cat-lover.

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    2. Oops. That is someone we know in the US. It will be ok. She won't see this, fingers crossed.

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  3. And the prize for the best blog title e goes to you

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    1. Dearest John, I so wish I had thought of the term.

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  4. Anonymous11:15 am

    I stayed at home and watched When We Rise episode 2 and reflected on our American history. About 15 years ago, I got tired of standing in the street for hours waiting for the parade to pass by (I don't think my legs could hold me up these days) and on another occasion, went the paid seating which was more expensive than a theatre ticket and got wet as it had no shelter. Dare I say it, the parade was fun back in the 80s when it was new and exciting. Now it's same old same old. Or maybe I am. - Ian

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    1. Ian, don't talk to me about jaded older gay men. I am one of them, but I do remember the excitement and the wonderful atmosphere of when we attended. I am sure it is the same for the kiddies now.

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  5. I'm sure a lot of people are surprised to eventually find out that gay people's home lives are just as humdrum as anyone else's. I remember years ago, my gay supervisor came in to work and he'd been crying; I heard he'd had a huge fight with his partner on the way to work. Next morning they'd made up, just like any couple and according to those who saw, the morning goodbye kiss was almost x-rated when he was dropped off at the factory door. See? Just like anybody.

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    1. River, ever so humdrum at times. Your supervisor sounds like a drama queen. It is just my upbringing, but I never feel comfortable with overt displays of affection as you describe. Make up kiss.......I have vague memory of those.

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  6. I think it would be fun to go to a Mari Gras...People are people and in my opinion and that all it is...By my personal experience the worst people I've deal with is evangelicals...I call the evil geniality....coffee is on

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    1. Dora, without doubt. I can't bear evangelist types and street preachers would be known to you. Your religion, fine, but it is nothing to do with anyone else.

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  7. My 2 legged sister used to live in a townhouse on Oxford Street and had gay neighbours. She was VERY young at the time and those two blokes looked out for her like you wouldn't believe. Mum loved those two blokes as she was very worried about her little girl leaving home so early. She was ever so grateful they were there. They are still very good friends to this day and are God Parents to one of my sister's boys. They still live on Oxford Street (not my sister) and Mum reckons they'd be giving the mardi gras a miss too.

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    1. Nice story, Charlie, but rather fits the stereotype of the great gay guys next door. Some gay guys are nasty pricks. To fit in another stereotype, does you Mum remember an ad on tv where two gay guys moved into a house and the elderly female neighbour brought them in scones to welcome them? That was us in 1981 before the ad was made with our elderly widowed female neighbour. She did exactly that and continued to give us scones over the years when she baked.

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    2. Crikey Andrew ...... Mum's got no memory that she's aware of. Much as she would like to she can't say she remembers the ad. My sister's friends used to bring her food. You were lucky, aye?? I bet those scones were good. I don't think sis could cook to save herself in those days. Mind you she's turned into quite the cook now.

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  8. Dear Camera Face, I'd do that for you now if you were a qualified tree prunner instead of a cute old poofyboo.

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    1. JahTeh, yes the scones did come at a cost.

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  9. I must admit I'm not a parade person Andrew, although I do enjoy a brass band marching by 😀

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    1. Grace, I have never found trombones and French horns attractive, but each to their own.

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  10. Miss seeing the Parade on TV, hasn't been for several years now. A lot of work goes into their costumes, makeup, bodies etc...always was good to see, but alas, those days are gone from the TV on the parade.

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    1. Margaret, I think it is still broadcast. Maybe SBS or pay tv. No, maybe you are right.

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  11. After returning to Sydney on the Sunday and having unpacked my bag I went to my local Woolworths to shop. Amongst the shoppers was a nice looking family; father, mother, two sub teenage daughters.

    Dad, early forties and fit looking hetero, displayed the remnants of glitter on his face and in his hair. I'd say he - and the family? - were spectators at Mardi Gras.

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    1. Victor, and he was probably wearing it like a badge of pride. Even glitter on greeting cards is all pervasive. The late Dame M used to love finding a bit of glitter in her home, indicating that something great had happened.

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