Picture this: a cloudless sky, a park in high summer, still green because this particular summer has been notoriously wet, sun beating down mercilessly, perspiring ladies juggling bottles and ice cubes to deliver stunningly chilled glasses of fresh lemonade, stalls packed with bargain hunters, three live bands competing for attention and a share of the goodwill vibe…..yes, it’s Fair Day in Victoria Park, Sydney.
This annual extravaganza, marking the weekend that precedes the Mardi Gras parade, captures that essential laidback warmth that is Sydney in general and its gay community in particular. This is not the place to debate why some places on earth thrive on tolerance and the pursuit of happiness.
It’s enough to say that Sydney embraces all comers, young or not so young, shirted or shirtless, cool or colourful, with an unaffected spontaneity. And this community of gay boys and girls, men and women really do have a handle on the concept of a good time.
So many images linger. A young male couple, bejewelled and begelled, hand-in-hand, a leather clad girl proudly polishing the already gleaming handlebars of her Harley Davidson, the outrageously cute Chinese boy clutching his feather fan in the colours of the Gay Rainbow while, behind him, a group of men display their tattoos and tease a crowd of admirers.
Elsewhere, two handsome Asian boys stroll with two impressive Standard Poodles tugging at their leashes, a crowd of giggling women pass bottles of wine between them in a shady corner under a huge yew tree, two men in bikinis and orange wigs pose under pink parasols wearing matching heart-shaped sunglasses, all of this accompanied by a hybrid hum of laughter, gossip, drumbeats and the thump of base guitars.
What's that? Yes, something caught his attention. Yes, it’s the popular sight of the young hunk waiting to be dumped into the tank of cold water. In 35 degrees of heat, it’s a nice way to make a splash.
Elsewhere in this issue of lustralboy, you will read about the role of inheritance in defining style. Sydney, clearly,embraces its an inheritance of easygoingness as an example to the world. How to characterise so blissful a mood? Well you might very well call it gay.
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