Amid Mardi Gras buzz, Indonesians in Australia rue diminishing LGBTQ rights back home

As the 46th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras prepares to kick off on March 2, the party buzz has caught on in the Indonesian LGBTQ community in Australia, where members are readying themselves to march alongside activists and revellers from around the world. The Indonesian float at the parade, dubbed Selamat Datang – meaning “Welcome” in Indonesian – was founded by Australian Shawn Dern. “This year will mark our eighth year in a row being part of the parade,” said head organiser Ozak Salam, adding the Indonesian contingent was typically made up of the LGBTQ diaspora in Australia, their partners and friends, and guest participants from Indonesia.

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