A temporary museum displaying 35 years of Sydney Mardi Gras history is now open to the public on Oxford Street, Sydney. The display will be open until the end of this year’s Mardi Gras festival on March 4. It is Australia’s first gay museum. Costumes, photos, newspaper clippings, video installations, posters and banners from the very first Mardi Gras in 1978 will be on display. The items come from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Sydney’s Pride History Group, Mardi Gras and a number of private collections.
The museum’s launch was attended by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith, activist Julie McCrossin and others involved in the 1978 Mardi Gras.
“This exhibition is incredibly important for the people who have been a part of it but it is even more important for the people who weren’t,” Moore told the gathered crowd. “There’s a wonderful history here – a history that talks about the wonderful contribution the LGBTI community has made to the vitality, diversity and creativity of our city as well as an amazing contribution to teaching people about acceptance.”
Mardi Gras costume maker Ron Muncaster said it was the “glitz, the glamour and humour” that had made Mardi Gras into such a well-known international event. “We get a lot of gay tourists coming to Sydney and I’m sure this museum will be very popular and it will help to educate the general public.”
Attempts to find a permanent home for the country’s first LGBTI museum continue. There are only two such museums in the world – the Schwules Museum in Berlin and the GLBT Historical Society Museum in San Francisco.