Hello beautiful people,
I had wondered whether or not to write this or just let it slip by the wayside as it has been sooooo long since it happened, however I had promised you I would and I believe even though it is so late…it’s still better late than never…so without further delay…here is my Midsumma 2013 Wrap Up!
So what exactly is Midsumma?
In a nutshell it’s a festival celebrating queer culture, arts, entertainment and community. You can check it out here if you like http://www.midsumma.org.au/
With so many fabulous events and a 3 hour return trip to get to any of them (really must manifest/create that home away from home in Melbourne town!), as much as I would have loved to go to a dozen or more events, I settled (almost begrudgingly) for no less than the opening Carnival, a fabulous walking tour around Melbourne called “the Beat Goes On’, (which peaked my interest immediately as this is what one of my chapters in my book is called!), and finishing the festival season off with the annual Pride March.
Carnival is by far the biggest single event on the Midsumma program. It is the official opening of the Midsumma Festival, a day of celebration and coming together (however you identify… bisexual, straight…whatever) along the picturesque banks of the Yarra River at the beautiful Birrarung Marr.
There were tens of thousands of people there rejoicing in the pride of community and oneness, entertainment a plenty, food glorious food, fun and frivolities! Lots of stalls where information could be collected and conversations had. Beautiful friends to bump into and chatter with gregariously, with an abundance of new people to meet as well! I loved this event and true to its Summer form…it was hot…hmm in more ways than one!
Congratulations to all who made this event possible, fabulous and definitely an ongoing booking in my calendar. Huge congrats too for achieving such an incredible milestone of 25 years of Midsumma! That in and off itself deserves a resounding and huge WOO HOO!
On the following weekend we arrived at the meeting point at Federation Square to begin what was going to be one eye opening (not just one of my eyes…both!) and perspective changing event! The Beat Goes On was a 90 minute walking tour highlighting the history and public landmarks around Melbourne marking its underground beat culture…men who seek sexual encounters with men.
Our tour guide, Anthony Gurrisi was nothing less than spectacular. He was knowledgeable, articulate, passionate, concise (to the best of his ability), entertaining and informative. Equipped with a friendly smile and an iPad to boot to show us stunning photos of buildings and places of times gone by.
Today, I have such a different respect for beats that I did not have prior to taking this tour. I must admit to still holding onto some old conditioning (always some old conditioning to let go of!), beliefs and fear as well when it came to even thinking about a beat. Sure I had relaxed over the years and wasn’t so highly strung up about it, although I did still have strong reservations about this kind of interaction taking place so publicly. Would I be if it was heterosexuals doing this? Hmm…! Actually I believe so…there’s still a whole lot of conditioning to let go there too…the prude in me still exists to some degree today even with all the work I have done on myself!
What I learnt is yes beats were used for sexual encounters by men seeking men, however back then, perhaps more so than today; they were more likely to be a place of first point of contact, no sexual exchanges then and there.
By the end of the tour I was not only fascinated by what I was hearing and seeing, I was liberated and had a greater understanding of why men visit beats. Like any public display of a sexual nature, there will, I imagine, always remain an element of excitement, danger, eroticism, naughtiness, etc. due to the adrenalin, endorphins and so forth produced from such a risky behavior to keep them going back for more!
On the other foot can we continue to stand in denial (for those who continue to deny!) that we, as a whole created this when we made homosexual (bisexual…man on man) acts illegal? Surely if men, people for that matter, were free to interact sexually with whomever they chose to as consenting adults, wouldn’t this risky behavior decrease dramatically? When forced into a corner what would you do?
Hence why marriage equality is such an important aspect to conquer! Let them have their day…let them have their equality of life…let them have their human right! Let us all be free…for we are all one.
We are all, to some degree, part of the problem…let us be part of the solution. What part are you playing? No part (which in actual fact you are!) or a big part?! I choose to play big! On that note small would suffice also. Actively participating, regardless of how big or small, rather than passively sitting (which is a major form of colluding anyway!) on the sidelines is all I ask of you. Allow your energy to flow in the right direction…the human rights direction!
And last but by no means least, Melbourne’s Pride March. Oh how I love thee! What an event it was…continues to be. What better way to create community, support, awareness, acceptance, celebration, unconditional love than to march down Fitzroy Street St Kilda to the Catani Gardens (where food stalls, a beer garden and lively entertainment ensured a fabulous end to a fabulous march!) with a colourful assortment of openly willing diverse people strutting their stuff beaming I am here, see me for who I truly am. Having marched only twice myself now, it truly is an auspicious occasion having thousands upon thousands of people celebrate alongside you, whether marching with me or cheering amongst the crowds observing. As the straight wife of a bisexual man…damn I felt proud! What a way to end the Midsumma Festivities for 2013. Thank you Melbourne Pride team for continuing to create such an important rite of passage.
Thank you my love, my beautiful Andrew, for opening my eyes and heart to all that truly is unconditional, including our love.
So there you have it…finally…my Midsumma wrap up!
Big love & huge hugs,
IL&G (Infinite Love & Gratitude!).
‘practice what you passion’®