Blue Mountains News

Mayor supports Blue Mountains Mardi Gras celebrations

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 5 Mar 2024
(Left to right) Claudia Roosen, Project Officer MOCS, Steph, TAFE Counsellor and Psychologist, Mayor Mark Greenhill, Tatiana Lozano, Manager MOCS at the Mardi Gras Picnic.
Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill attended the Mardi Gras Family Picnic on the weekend, in support of the Blue Mountains LGBTQIA+ community

The picnic went ahead, despite an online hate campaign directed at organisers and attendees of the family-friendly event.

Hosted by Mountains Outreach Community Service (MOCS), the picnic, which was held at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, Lawson was a celebration for LGBTQIA+ families and their allies.

The event was originally planned to take place at Wentworth Falls Lake, however had to be relocated for safety after threats were made to event organisers and attendees via social media.

Mayor Greenhill has condemned the intimidation of the LGBTQIA+ community and said that discrimination and harassment against any member of the community will not be tolerated.

“Mardi Gras is a joyful season of celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community and the family picnic was a fantastic addition to our local events calendar. It was wonderful to join in the festivities, which included face painting and drag dress up,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“However, I was appalled to hear about the hateful and intimidating behaviour displayed towards members of our community and am greatly disturbed that those threats were directed at families, children, and community workers.

“Let me be explicitly clear, Blue Mountains City Council will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or violence against any member of our community. It is despicable and it is illegal.

“Mardis Gras is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate how far we have come in embracing our LGBTQIA+ friends, family, and neighbours however episodes like this remind us there is still work to be done.

“It is important Council, local organisations, and community groups include our LGBTQIA+ community members in events and it is essential we create safe spaces where everybody is respected, included, and valued. Creating a safe and inclusive community has immense social and cultural benefits for us all.”

Blue Mountains City Council is proud of its history supporting our local LGBTQIA+ community and will always speak out against discrimination, homophobia and transphobia.

Council enthusiastically participates in a range of activities including flying the Pride flag annually, hosting an annual IDAHOBIT community event, supporting the Safe Schools program, and partnering with a range a community groups to present cultural and social events across the LGA that champion the LGBTQIA+ community.

Council’s Gender Equity Strategy recognises that people of different genders, including non-binary and transgender people, are afforded different opportunities by our society and experience power differently. The strategy recognises that achieving gender equity has immense social and cultural benefits and supports equal opportunities for all members of the community to live fulfilling lives and contribute equally at home, the workplace, in decision-making and wider.

You can read Council’s Gender Equity Strategy at: here

Mardi Gras season ran from 16 February to 3 March 2024. A range of Mardi Gras events took place across the Blue Mountains with organisers including Mountains Youth Services Team (MYST) and Scenic World.

 
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