Happy Mardi Gras 2022 from your SUPRA Queer Officers!

With lockdown over and a slow re-opening of events, parties and dancing, there is a lot to enjoy this year. Check out the official Mardi Gras program!

Some of you may be feeling anxious after a difficult time in lockdown. Your self-esteem may be low, you may have experienced long periods of isolation and be feeling overwhelmed about going to crowded events and parties.

Just remember there is no one way to be part of our big, diverse LGBTQIA+ family! Stay true to yourself, stay safe and reach out for support if you need it (we’ve got some great contacts listed below).

Embrace yourselves and enjoy Mardi Gras!

Joseph Black and Yuning Zhang
SUPRA Queer Officers

2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade

Saturday 5 March 2022
Sydney Cricket Ground

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade has taken place every year since 1978.  The first Mardi Gras Parade ended in police violence and 53 people arrested, but the police crackdown fired up a community who would no longer be silent. Each year, for 44 years, nothing has stopped us from gathering to celebrate together, to call for change and to remember those who came before us.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch the parade on ABC iview.

Parties, sex and safety during Mardi Gras

SUPRA wants all students who participate in the 2022 Mardi Gras season to have an amazing time and to remind you to look after your health, safety, and well-being, especially in relation to drugs, alcohol, sexual health and consent.

Here are some tips on how to not completely overdo it and how to stay safe while meeting up with strangers for sex and consensual fun:

  • Tell your friends what drugs you are taking and let them know if you want support in limiting your alcohol or drug consumption.
  • Don’t forget to eat, and drink water.
  • Alcohol is a depressant and the day after can cause ‘hangxiety’, where the chemicals in your brain make you anxious after drinking. A hangover may see you dealing with headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, restless sleep, tiredness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, trouble concentrating and dehydration. Eliminating alcohol from your body takes time and rehydration is important. Your liver can only work so fast, and breaking down alcohol happens at a rate of approximately one standard drink per hour.
  • Be aware of your drug tolerance and local drug alerts.
  • Respect the boundaries of those around you – this goes for drugs, alcohol and sex.
  • If you are meeting people from apps, meet in a public location first.
  • If you’re meeting at someone’s home for sex or to hang out, get their address in advance, give it to a friend, and ask your friend to check in on you after a certain amount of time.
  • Discuss safe sex practices before you meet up with a stranger and always carry your own safe sex supplies.
  • Bring your own water bottle and don’t accept drinks.
  • Make sure your phone is charged and on you.
  • If you’re sending explicit images, crop your face and any identifiable tattoos or features, and relock your private album frequently.

Have fun, stay safe and get tested for STIs regularly.

Reach out to the SUPRA Queer Officers

We are the Queer Officers of SUPRA, and we are here to lend a helping hand if you need and want it, and to represent queer postgraduate students at the University of Sydney.

This is a fundamental role. There continues to be substantial discrimination against queer postgraduate students, particularly queer postgraduate students with intersectional identities (which reiterates the importance of intersectional work across SUPRA and beyond). We run community events, manage the SUPRA Queer Network Facebook page, fight for change across the University of Sydney, and give you a voice at council and University spaces. We can connect you with welcoming and affirming support across Australia, and respond to questions and feedback.

Last year, we helped the Business School adopt more inclusive language, wrote a guide to understanding LGBTQIA+ terminology, and more. We’re currently planning an advocacy video, and more. Have any ideas? Please let us know!

Contact: queer@supra.usyd.edu.au