We’re getting VERY excited for the Mardi Gras parade that will be taking over Sydney this weekend, and while it’s a great excuse to party, there’s a rich history to the event that people should know more about.

Gary Schliemann joined us on last night’s show. Gary was involved in the first ever mardi gras in 1978, and he took us through what it was like at the very first walk.

The plan was to involve a whole lot more people who weren’t very aware of a need for social change, and so we walked down oxford street from taylor square down to hyde park chanting things like “Out of the bars, into the streets”. In those days, there were a lot of bashings and people only felt safe in the bars that were paying off the cops to leave them alone. We hadn’t achieved law reform so it was still possible to be prosecuted for being gay. We were kind of challenging the police corruption, there were ongoing payoffs and inflated prices. We had quite a few people join us as we marched down.

Tonight, we had someone who is probably Australia’s MOST famous drag queen. If one person comes to mind when we’re chatting mardi gras, it’s this particular chick.

Courtney act ran us through how she was preparing for the big day, and while we do love talking about the costumes, colour and fun around mardi gras, we also wanted to know about Courtney’s experience with the evolution of the event

Courtney also told us about thebig differences between her first mardi gras and now – and why corporations could play an important role:

on her thoughts about marriage equality:

And on her thoughts about the political parties that could change something, but are still marching in the parade