three people, two in wheelchairs dressed in white and silver

CPA and allies celebrate diversity at Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

Over the weekend, Cerebral Palsy Alliance clients and staff along with allies from Northcott and the Australian Foundation for Disability (Afford) danced their way through the streets of Sydney to mark the 46th Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The three disability service providers joined forces to create and parade the ‘OURtopia,’ float, which aims to inspire everyone to envision a fully inclusive future, “OUR utopia.”

Amidst a sea of cheering revellers, clients with varying levels of CP and other disabilities boogied their way along Oxford Street to the beat of pumping dance music.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Northcott and Afford Mardi Gras Ambassador, Declan Lee, said that participating in the parade was “truly a privilege”.

“This opportunity highlighted the vital importance of ensuring visibility and inclusion for people with disability, including cerebral palsy within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Lee said the groups’ presence drew attention to the broad spectrum of diversity and challenged stereotypes and misconceptions around gender, sexuality and diversity for people with disability.

“Having the opportunity to march and celebrate alongside both familiar faces and new acquaintances, I experienced an overwhelming sense of pride, and it was a fantastic night had by myself and others who represented CPA on the day. I hope that CPA will continue to celebrate the diversity of their clients and staff and have an even bigger turn out next year!”

Ahead of the big night, volunteers from Afford, CPA and Northcott came together to offer their time and skills at dedicated costume-making and float-building days.

The collaboration was historic as it represented the inaugural partnership of these three leading disability service providers. The decision to come together underscores a collective commitment to celebrating the rights, love, and inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community, aligning with the spirit of the SGLMG Festival and Parade.