Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras has released a video featuring LGBTQI+ personalities and allies from around Asia-Pacific encouraging support for its bid to host WorldPride 2023, the largest global gathering of LGBTQI communities held every two years.

The video features a number of familiar Australian faces from music, screen and politics including The Veronicas, Delta Goodrem, Samantha Jade, Courtney Act, Sam Sparro and Penny Wong, along with representatives from around the APAC region expressing support for Sydney’s bid.

Sydney’s bid draws attention to LGBTQI human rights abuses in Asia Pacific including that same-sex sexual activity is still criminalised in 30% of the region.

If Mardi Gras is successful in its bid, it will be the first time WorldPride is held in the Southern Hemisphere. This provides the opportunity for many LGBTQI+ people from neighbouring Asia-Pacific countries to celebrate pride in a safe space as equals, as well as aligning the global event with the 45th anniversary of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras Board Member and 78er Robyn Kennedy who is Chair of the committee leading the bid said Mardi Gras has been overwhelmed with the support they’ve received since announcing their bid but stressed who would benefit most from a Sydney win.

“Australia has always been a safe space for LGTQI+ people from neighbouring countries in Asia- Pacific/. Sydney Mardi Gras’ bid aims to allow the voices of LGBTQI+ communities across the region to be heard. Many LGBTQI people in Asia Pacific are unable to celebrate pride in their own countries. WorldPride in Sydney would provide the opportunity to celebrate pride in a welcoming city”.

InterPride, the international association of pride organisations, will declare the location of WorldPride 2023 at the AGM in Athens on October 20 after a vote by members against competing cities Montreal and Houston.

“Sydney is renowned for our inclusive and welcoming culture for all LGBTQI+ visitors and I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate this than by hosting WorldPride2023. WorldPride is a global event and it belongs in Australia’s global city,” said Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres.