A Woman At Mardi Gras! Unique Bi & Married Dilemma

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! I love this time of year, everyone is gearing up in their rainbow kit and is ready to take to the streets loud and proud like it should be. Mardi Gras is one of the many things that makes me so proud to be Australian. Here you will find acceptance for any man or woman At Mardi Gras.

Woman At Mardi Gras

I am so thankful for the work of the 78’ers and the groups and activists that came before and after them, because of these people our LGBTQIA+ sisters, brothers and non-binary family enjoy a level of equality that seemed unattainable 20 years ago (that isn’t to say the work is done *cough* Trans rights *cough*). We are celebrating the achievements of this marginalised community, showing up in support of them and finally at long last celebrating that we now have marriage equality!

woman at mardi gras
Image: Marriage Equality

Is this for me? A married bi girl’s interesting relationship with Mardi Gras!

As a bi woman married to a man, Mardi Gras can be a conflicting time for me. While I love Mardi Gras soooo much (seriously we need to start decorating our houses for Mardi Gras the way we do for Christmas) it is hard to see it as a celebration that I can be completely involved in. I feel this way because I have been told repeatedly to my face that I am, “not really queer” and while that pisses me right off, I also totally get where that perception comes from.

As a white, straight seeming woman, I have not experienced the same level of discrimination and hard ship that some members of my LGBTQIA+ family have. I have never received an odd look or worse for holding my husband’s hand down the street; no one has ever threatened violence towards me because of my outwardly perceived sexuality or any of the other awful bullshit that is thrown unfairly towards the community.

I have had a charmed queer experience by comparison, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a queer experience. My queer experience was quieter than some but profound and crucial to the person I am still becoming.

So here is my problem, I am queer; I know this in my heart and my pants. But I also see people’s points to the contrary as well, I haven’t experienced the hardships that other members of the LGBTQIA+ community has; and because of this I understand how this may to some jade my “queer status.”

Are there requirements to attend Mardi Gras?

But this year, with Mardi Gras around the corner it got me thinking does a queer person have to go through a degree of torment to be considered properly queer or are we now getting to a point in our society (White Anglo-Saxon society, I acknowledge that this isn’t the case for many people both in and outside of Australia) where a queer person doesn’t have to have battle scars to be accepted.

Isn’t that what the 78’ers were marching for in the first place?  Wide spread societal acceptance? I think so. I love hearing how young people now bring home someone they like without having to “come out,” and are accepted, making queerness part of normalcy.

That doesn’t mean for a damn second I want us to lose our identity as a community, I want us to expand the idea of what the queer experience is. So that means for out, loud and wonderful queens, acceptance.  The button down corporate girl who isn’t all about her sexuality, acceptance. A non-binary person just existing, acceptance.

What is the essence of Mardi Gras?

The celebration isn’t just about the glitz and the parades; it’s a profound reflection of a society evolving to embrace diversity in its purest form. The story of a married bi woman navigating her space within this spectrum underscores a vital dialogue about inclusivity within the community itself—a reminder that the LGBTQIA+ identity is multifaceted and not defined solely by the hardships endured.

The spirit of Mardi Gras, influenced by the bravery of the 78’ers, isn’t just about remembering the struggles; it’s also about celebrating the diverse experiences of each member of the community, whether they face overt discrimination or fight quieter battles of acceptance. As society progresses, the essence of being queer should not be measured by the visibility of one’s battles but by the authenticity of one’s truth.

This isn’t a critique of the LGBTQIA+ community—only straight people have told me I wasn’t queer. It’s a call for society to broaden its understanding of queerness, allowing queer people to be whoever they want. At last.

This Mardi Gras, let us broaden our perspectives and enrich our understanding, championing a future where everyone can freely express their identity without judgment or qualification.

Happy Mardi Gras?  If you are looking for help or support, check out the LGBTQIA+ services available in your local community.

Author: Jamie is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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