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Julie McCrossin: Sydney’s first Mardi Gras and Antidote Festival’s top events

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the first ever Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. The peaceful parade, of more than 500 participants, ended in violence and multiple arrests.

Broadcaster Julie McCrossin was one of those marching and will be reflecting on the events of the first Mardi Gras and its legacy — and how far LGBTQI people still have to go — this weekend at the Sydney Opera House’s Antidote festival.

McCrossin joined Gay Liberation in 1973, and met many fellow activists in the cells of Liverpool Police Station in the 1970s. Best known for her role as team leader on the quiz show Good News Week between 1996 and 2000, she has worked as a broadcaster with ABC Radio National, ABC TV, and Network Ten. She is now a freelance journalist and facilitator with qualifications in the arts, education and law, and is an Ambassador for Targeting Cancer and TROG Cancer Research.

We asked her about what other events at the festival she’s most excited about.

Writing Myself Into Existence – Janet Mock

The idea of “writing yourself into existence” is intriguing in itself for all of us. The transgender experience can be overwhelmingly challenging . The opportunity to hear this courageous voice is irresistible.

Muslim Girl – Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

The time has well and truly come for listening and Amani has plenty to say to both Muslims and non-Muslims. I expect this to be entertaining, informative and challenging. The website muslimgirl.com is an eye opener. This is the chance to meet the girl.

Photo by Shirley Yu
Photo by Shirley Yu

Why I’m No longer Talking to People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

Changing the terms of the conversation about racism and asserting your own reality into the mix is a mighty achievement. Finding a way to do this while still engaging with the more privileged group is walking a tight rope it is easy to fall off. This is a voice from Britain I’d love to hear.

The Women’s March on Washington – Tamika D Mallory

We must always reject despair and take constructive action. Tamika and The Women’s March chose hope and action in the face of a devastating Presidential campaign by President Trump. We need to learn from organisers like this in days of darkness.

Rite of Warami Wellamabami (Welcome)

The Opera House stands on a remarkable site. It is Aboriginal land. This is a chance to pay our respects and experience the grace of the elders who welcome us.

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