VIDEO: Vladimir Putin: The Unwitting Star of Sydney Gay Mardi Gras
A two kilometer parade with 10,000 sexual minority marchers and 300,000 LGBT and LGBT allied onlookers is probably the last place in the world that Russian despot and all-around hate guy Vladimir Putin would want to find himself. And yet, there he was, front and center at this year's gay and lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney Australia. AAP reports:
Sydney's gay and lesbian Mardi Gras, the largest of its kind in the world, returned to its political roots Saturday by taking aim at Russia's newly enacted anti-homosexual propaganda law. Amid the teeming drag queens, assorted revelers in rainbow garb and the requisite dykes on bikes was a float with a ten-foot bobble-headed Vladimir Putin. The float titled "From Russia with Love" took aim at the Russian president while sending a message of support to oppressed sexual minorities living under the Putin regime.
"There's room for very serious political comment in Mardi Gras," said Sydney Mayor Clover Moore of the event which is widely known for its frivolity. "Everyone is quite alarmed about what's happening in Russia, what's happening in Nigeria and Pakistan." she continued, saying ""This is a global event, the biggest of its kind in the world, and it's good to make those statements."
One of the many other floats in the parade that took a shot at the Russian leader featured a giant puppet of him as "a mythological ogre with no heart." ABC reports.
"We knew that there would be a lot of community feeling about what is happening in Russia," senior creative consultant Ignatius Jones said, continuing. "I am hoping that the Russians who are fighting just to be allowed to be who they are will feel the wave of solidarity and love that's coming from Australia."
Now in its 37th year, the Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras is the largest event of its kind in the world. According to statistics published by ABC, the parade has 10,000 marchers,144 floats and over 400 kilograms of glitter.