Publication Details

de Jong, A. (2015). Dykes on Bikes and the long road to Mardi Gras. The Conversation, 5 March 1-3.

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The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival is here again. The festival's pinnacle and most attended event, the Parade, will see hundreds of thousands flocking to Sydney's Oxford Street this Saturday for a mix of politics, revealing costumes, buffed bodies, flamboyance and celebration. As is tradition, the sounds of more than 100 Dykes on Bikes revving their engines and blasting their horns will mark the beginning of the party. For the Queensland Dykes on Bikes, however, Mardi Gras is about more than leading the parade and attending parties. Much interest in Mardi Gras is given to its historical legacy, to commodification and to questions of political identity. Seeking to build on these conversations, for the past three years I have been documenting the personal stories of those who travel vast distances each year to attend this event. As part of this research, in a new article, published in Australian Geographer, I sought to examine the complex relations between the Queensland Dykes on Bikes and the Mardi Gras Parade.