Celebrating our queer community this Mardi Gras

For those of us in the queer community Pride isn’t just an annual event: Pride is something we tap into in a range of ways in our everyday lived experience. That being said, the season of Mardi Gras is particularly joyful, as we take the opportunity to gather and celebrate the diversity of our community in a festival in the heart of Sydney.

By Dan Codyre, Design Director

Feb 2022

Share article

URL copied to clipboard

Share Article

And, with most queer spaces directly impacted by two years of restrictions on dancing and singing, and with our government still feeling the need to debate the basic rights of LGBTQIA+ people¹, this year’s Mardi Gras feels even more important. It’s compelling to see people from all across the spectrum of gender, sexual orientation and from all walks of life, whether members of the rainbow community or allies, en mass celebrating our authentic selves and proudly declaring that love is love. Personally, I can’t wait to lose myself again in a sea of queer bodies on a dance floor, basking in the post-parade glow.

Over the past months our team at Re has had the privilege of working with our friends at Optus as they’ve embarked on a three-year partnership with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras organisation. There’s a genuine synergy between the queer community and Optus’ brand positioning: optimism in action. It’s an attitude that is embodied in our resilience and triumphs in the face of our lived experience. From the ’78ers and the origins of the parade, to the marriage equality Yes vote in 2017, the rainbow community in Australia is a fantastic example of making great things happen. Optus’ partnership launch campaign taps into this with the line ‘It starts with yes’, speaking to the moments our diverse community has chosen to say yes to who we are and who we love, supported by a progress pride flag inspired hero Yes graphic.

I’m proud to work in an environment where being queer is celebrated. In the past, I’ve experienced first hand what it’s like to feel you need to hide, or tone down who you are in a workplace. Being able to bring my full and authentic self to my job makes me a better creative and leader, and I feel supported by our team here at Re to champion my community.

There’s still work to be done. Recent research² shows that in Australia and globally there is a pay disparity between heterosexuals and LGBTQIA+ individuals, and many experience negative conduct from colleagues. I’m excited to have the opportunity this year to co-chair a queer employee-led network in our business to ensure anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+ has the support and resources to thrive in their careers. Mardi Gras reminds me of the amazing progress we’ve already made, and it gives me hope for what we can continue to achieve together in the future.

A time for reflection and reconnection

Does anyone remember what they were doing on September 15, 2008? I do. I was in a motel on the outskirts of Westport Connecticut, preparing to move to the US to launch the NYC office of a company I worked for and loved, when news of the global financial crisis, triggered by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy officially hit the world.

By Patrick Guerrera, CEO

Nov 2021