The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will consider a name change next month.
Sydney’s biggest and longest-running Pride event will ask its community members whether to remove the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ from the title.
They wrote in a statement last night (26 March) on the group’s official website: ‘Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras aims to be a vibrant and inclusive showcase of everyone under and over the rainbow.’
The organization continued: ‘You may have heard that we have begun consultation to address the feedback by some members, community groups, event organisers, patrons and visitors that the name of our organisation is not inclusive – only specifying ‘Gay’ and ‘Lesbian’, without mention of any other sexuality or gender identity.
‘Changing a name with decades of community history behind it is not something we’d do lightly. Therefore we want to hear from our members, supporters and wider community on ideas, concerns and hopes for a potential name change,’ they wrote.
They’re holding a general meeting on 7 April at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company. This is for community members to have their say on the issue.
Other options include rebranding to ‘Sydney Pride’ or simply ‘Sydney Mardi Gras’.
Name change controversy
This is not the first time the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has tried to change its name.
In 2011, the organization actually changed the name to New Mardi Gras, but it received backlash when people criticized it for erasing its gay and lesbian roots.
Then in 2013, the organization voted to change its name back to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
‘Our mission remains the same,’ they said in a statement at the time. ‘To inspire the world to love each other through the power and beauty of diversity.
‘We will continue to focus on increasing engagement with women and young people across all areas of the organization. As well as deeper engagement with our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities as mandated in our constitution, Festival and Parade entry criteria,’ they said.
Want to have your say? RSVP here for the Community Consultation.