Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2015 ~ The Retro Equality Project ~ Pinups for Equality!

Hello all!

The Saturday just passed, here in Aussieland was the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras! Its an annual event that is a chance for the gay community here in Australia to spread their wings, encourage same love acceptance and to wear not a lot of clothing! 

In January of this year I talked about the Retro Equality Project, one I was fortunate enough to be a participant in! The project, as per my original post has the aim of promoting equal marriage rights through the medium of pin up photography! The project started as an idea by incredible Miss Cherry Button as her community project for Pin Up Doll Australia and flourished into something much bigger! Now boasting a photo book and a calendar (get yours at the next Rock n Roll Markets!!) it reached its highest point with the Mardi Gras on Saturday night. It was a blast to be involved not only the project and to work/meet some amazingly passionate women (will talk more about this in a moment!) but also to be apart of a project promoting something I strongly believe in: marriage equality for all!

Before I start, I want take a note to mention two very special people!

This is the brains behind the project, Miss Cherry Button & her fiance. This is the woman who made the Retro Equality Project happen, who made Fair Day and Mardi Gras happen and who is one of the most driven and inspiring young woman I know. Her partner is one of the nicest, none judgmental women I have ever met as well and I truly admire both of these strong women. They embody Retro Equality and what it stands for, which is where I believe Cherry's tenacious drive to make this project a reality comes from.

So when Cherry told me that she wanted to have Retro Equality in Mardi Gras, I put my hand up to help make numbers and it was very exciting that everything was all approved and the day grew closer. To help with number's my mum got an invite (and she came along for the ride too!) and it was so exciting to wake up on Saturday and know that Mardi Gras was today!

After spending the early afternoon getting my petite mother dressed in pinup pride, we headed in to meet the other ladies in the group at the hotel! And it all began!

Walking to the lockout area
We were such a vast collection of ladies! So many different strengths, styles and personalities rolled into one group, all with the one common cause: to show that Pinups Support Equality! We got to the gate for the lockout and our unique style of dress meant we got SWAMPED be photographers! Literally swamped, to the point the police came over and told people they have to move to the other side of the path!

Penelope Quinn, Belle's Be Ringing, Naomi and Steph getting SWAMPED by photographers at the entry gate to the holding area of Mardi Gras

Waiting to go in: Eden L'Amour, Naomi and Penelope Quinn
Once in, we got to hang around and watch all the other participants having fun, getting ready and generally having a chat. We all had SO many photos taken during the wait time, it was honestly a blast!

Lin,  Jewel, Ruby, Cherry, Steph, Belles Be Ringing, My mum, me, Penelope Quinn, Eden L'Amour, Naomi and Kayleigh! All pinups for equality! 
I had the pleasure of meeting Kayleigh and Jewel on the set of the Retro Equality Project shoot (they volunteered their house for part of the shoot!) and they are two incredibly wonderful people! And of course, the same can be said for Cherry and her Lin. Two couples who are Retro Equality!

Our Gorgeous photographer Siobhan Ford and Miss Ruby!

Me with my mum, all dressed in pinup, never thought I'd see the day!

Me and my mum

Some of the boy's walking around

One of the costumes from Mardi Gras. A hibiscus flower!
Waiting for things to start! Belles be ringing, Penelope Quinn, Steph, my mum, Kayleigh, Jewel and Lin!

Ruby with one of the Drag Queens

Naomi with one of the other parade boys!
Then, very quickly it was time to get moving and the excitement really set in for all of us! It was nearly time to strut our stuff and spread our message! You could feel and see the excitement as everyone prepped to begin! Everyone started dancing and there was music everywhere! The atmosphere was intense!

Cherry Button excited to begin!

Role reversal! I picked up my mum!
Pinups for equality all ready to go!
We're all ready to go!

And then finally, it was our turn to start walking!! The entire experience was incredible! SO many people waving, screaming, reaching, wishing each other Happy Mardi Gras! I felt so truly privileged to be part of something so incredible!

High-fives for crowd goers

Pinup's for equality!

Parasol Princess'

More waving!

Jewel and Kayleigh! <3

The incredible Miss Cherry Button

Ruby, Penelope Quinn, Belle's be ringing, Steph, Eden L'Amour and my mum

Pinups for Equality!

Lots of swishing and twirling!

More waving!
Overall the entire experience was incredible and I'm so grateful to Cherry for giving me (and my mum) the opportunity to march in Mardi Gras this year and I know it meant a lot to the people who participated in the march with me as well! Marriage Equality needs to happen. Love does not discriminate, so why should others. Let those in love be in love. Your judgement and your beliefs don't define other people!

I'm going to finish this post with this amazing picture, which I feel embodies everything that is this project and why its important! If you'd like to show your support for the project and/or Cherry Button just click the links! 

Cherry Button will be sharing a stall with me at the next Sydney Rock n Roll Markets for Retro Equality! So if you have any questions or would like to buy any of the products associated with Retro Equality, come and say hello!

All photographs are courtesy of Siobhan Ford Designs who you can find on facebook and Instagram!! 

I'm going to leave that here. Thank you all for reading!

Til tomorrow 

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