Anti-LGBT world leaders to be depicted as household pests on Mardi Gras float
Anti-LGBT world leaders including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump will be depicted as household pests on a Sydney Mardi Gras float this year.
Ten political figureheads from across the globe that have marginalised the LGBTQ community in some way will be chased along the Sydney-based parade by the mock pest control company, Bigots Begone.
The idea for the original float comes from The Pink Flamingos, an artist group that describes itself as “The Politically Inspired, Non-violent, Kind & Fabulous LGBTQI & Allies Marching In Notorious Group of Satirists (aka – The P.I.N.K. F.L.A.M.I.N.G.O.S)”.
They established themselves last year at the parade with their “Force of Love” float, which challenged cartoons created by Bill Leak which they deemed as anti-LGBT.
Dejay Toborek, a co-founder of the group, said that the Bigots Begone pest control will chase away the anti-LGBT political figures from Egypt, Uganda, Chechnya, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Australia, the US and more with love, campuses and kindness.
He explained that they were inspired to challenge political leaders through their art after witnessing the severe oppression that LGBTQ people have been facing recently.
He said: “We’ve watched bigotry play out in devastating ways, from gay concentration camps in Chechnya and Trump’s military ban to community arrests in Egypt, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan and gay propaganda laws in Russia.
“We also watched world leaders such as Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stand by as LGBTI citizens were harmed through their spineless and calculated failures to act.
“As our ’78ers demonstrated 40 years ago, we must call out these acts of institutional violence, hate, bigotry, and cowardice, and stand in solidarity with our community around the world.”
Toborek added that 2018 could be a turning point for LGBTQ equality and they feel the 40th anniversary of Sydney Mardi Gras is the perfect time to make a statement about it.
“This year alone looks set to be an important year, here in Australia and internationally.
“And [Mardi Gras’] 40th anniversary is a perfect opportunity to focus on LGBTI rights, where we have come, and what is left to do, all around the world,” he said.
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He added that they believe the leaders they have picked out will be easily recognisable, but they’ve definitely over-exaggerated some of their features to give extra clues to those who may not be as in the know.
“While some of the world leaders are instantly recognisable, such as Trump with his orange skin and big tufts of yellow hair, others may not be as well-known to Australian crowds.
“That said, we have worked hard to give clues about who is who, where they are from, and what they have done to end up on our float.
“We hope to educate and entertain this year,” he added.