Sydney is gearing up for the 2019 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras with Lord Clover Moore on Friday unveiling a permanent new rainbow crossing at Oxford Street's iconic Taylor Square.
“By installing this beautiful crossing as a symbol of pride in our city’s diversity, Sydney joins other cities around the world, including in Hollywood, San Francisco, Paris and most recently in Wellington, New Zealand," Moore said in a statement ahead of the crossing's reveal.
She continued: “San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag has been a symbol of those first bloody struggles of the gay rights movement. The 78ers in Australia put up with brutal treatment during the first Sydney Mardi Gras, and the rainbow flag has come to represent the LGBTIQ community’s struggles for liberation, survival and equality.
“The city worked with Roads and Maritime Services to bring the rainbow crossing back to Taylor Square. We believe this may also be the first rainbow crossing in the world that has been painted in a curving rainbow shape.”
The founder of community organisation DIY Rainbow, James Brechney, reflected on the impact of Sydney's previous rainbow crossing, which was removed by NSW government.
“The demise of Oxford Street’s fabulous rainbow crossing saw our DIY Rainbow movement go global, with rainbow chalkings popping up everywhere," he said.
He continued: “The new rainbow crossing is a hugely symbolic statement of support for the LGBTIQ community after a tumultuous time with the marriage equality plebiscite. This beautiful gesture brings a smile to everyone who walks across it.
“It’s a great location for the curved rainbow – it’s as if Campbell and Bourke streets were made for it. Sydney will have the only rainbow-shaped rainbow crossing in the world!”
A live stream of the parade will be available on SBS On Demand and the SBS Twitter account on Saturday 2 March. SBS Arabic 24 will report live from the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade to Arabic-speaking audiences around Australia.
You can watch the SBS parade coverage on Sunday March 3rd at 8.30pm.
Watch our Rainbow Pride collection on SBS On Demand.