On Friday, November 3, Sydney’s iconic Opera House was lit up in rainbow colors to honor Australia’s LGBT community, which is currently campaigning for marriage equality.
The lighting was in honor of the program announcement for the 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which turns 40 next February.
The famed performance venue also turned pink.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras date back to June 1978, when more than 1,500 members of the queer marched down Oxford Street and met with police violence and arrests. The incident is considered a watershed moment in the country’s LGBT history—Australia’s Stonewall if you will: The following year, more than 3,000 people marched in an incident-free parade.
It’s since evolved into a massive seven-day festival, one of the largest LGBT events in the world, with live performances, parties, cultural events and, of course, the Mardi Gras March itself.
With the current struggle for marriage equality Down Under, next year’s celebration will take on extra significance—and hopefully celebrate the arrival of same-sex marriage across the country.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebration runs February 16 to March 4, 2018, with the parade on March 3.