The 38th Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras ParadeMore than 200,000 people attended the queerest of all parades this year in Sydney.

The 38th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade attracted around 200,000 bystanders this year. 2016’s parade was the longest and biggest parade in recent years. It contained 178 floats and 12,500 participants and lasted for almost three hours.

Mardi Gras was born from a night of celebration that quickly turned into political protest. Keeping the true spirit of Mardi Gras alive today, thousands of LGBTQI people and their supporters travelled from all over the world to see this year’s theme of “Momentum.” Together, the community was able to joyously celebrate how far the community has come, as well as recognise the journey still ahead.

CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Michele Bauer, said, “The combined efforts of everyone involved delivered a stand out Parade. The enthusiasm of all the parade participants made for a truly wonderful experience.”

Ms Bauer also discussed how important certain moments in the Parade were. “Over the last two weeks, the 78ers – the participants in the very first Mardi Gras Parade – received apologies from the NSW Government, Fairfax and the Police for the violent treatment they received on that first [Mardi Gras] night.” She added that watching the 78ers march the Parade route was “something the community will cherish.”

There were also floats in the parade shining a light on prevalent issues including homelessness in the LGBTQI community, refugees, marriage equality, and the recognition of transgender rights.