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Courtney Act with a lesson in Pride for Aussie Mardi Gras

Courtney Act says Mardi Gras Sydney was born from violence and protest.

Drag celebrity Courtney Act wants to give you a little LGBT history lesson about Pride in the “land down under” before she visits San Diego to perform at Martinis Above Fourth on March 16.

The Australian born entertainer has partnered with MTV to create a three-minute video short in which she gives the “herstory” of the Aussie LGBT festival taking place March 4. 

Although it has come to symbolize LGBT freedoms and diversity, the Sydney Mardi Gras didn’t start out as peaceful.

In the video, Courtney explains that Mardi Gras Sydney was born from violence and protest.

In 1978, a few hundred Australian LGBT people, with banner in hand, marched down Oxford Street to Hyde Park. 

Homosexuality being illegal in Australia at the time, police stopped the parade by making arrests and violently carting people off to jail.

The following day, The Sydney Herald published the names of those arrested, essentially outing them to the public.

In the United States just nine years prior, the streets of New York became the location for the birth of the gay liberation movement after police raided The Stonewall Inn.

Similar to the initial Sydney parade, police handcuffed, assaulted and arrested LGBT people for drinking alcohol and dancing with one another.

Although both the United States and Australia have made huge steps toward LGBT rights, Courtney explains in her video that there is still much more to do. 

Same-sex marriage is still prohibited in Australia, and like America, trans rights are non-existent. 

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is now considered one of the most robust celebrations in the world, with headlining superstars and thousands upon thousands of attendees marching down the streets. 

"No matter what Mardi Gras means to you; you and it has meaning," Courtney says. 

You can watch the video in its entirety by clicking HERE. 

And don't miss Courtney Act at Martinis Above Fourth on Thursday, March 16, for "The Girl From Oz." Purchase tickets HERE