How Mardi Gras 2020 Is Focusing On Elevating Regional LGBTQIA Voices

This year's theme is 'What Matters.'

It’s time to get your biodegradable glitter out and wave that rainbow flag high because we’re already in the thick of Mardi Gras 2020. 

This year’s festival is bigger and better than ever with more parties, parades, plays and performances than you can poke a sequin-covered stick at. One of the best things about the 2020 Mardi Gras is how inclusive the festival is.

Not only are a lot of the events free and super accessible, but there’s renewed focus on members of the LGBTQIA community who are celebrating in regional areas.

To shed a little more light on everything Mardi Gras we spoke to Kat Dopper, who is the festival’s creative director and the director and founder of Heaps Gay on the latest ep of It’s Been A Big Day For..

The regional focus of Mardi Gras 2020 is something that is particularly close to Dopper’s heart considering she comes from the rural town of Condobolin – most famous for being Shannon Noll’s hometown. “For me, I’m so passionate about regional community towns. This year, for the first time ever, we are working with regional organisations. There’s Wagga, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Lismore, Adelaide – they’re throwing big events in their towns and we’re doing live crosses onto the broadcast.”

“It’s about how we think about elevating those smaller voices, elevating and activating regional towns, and making sure every single person that is LGBTQIA feels comfy, expresses themselves and sees themselves in our festival in some way.”

The theme for Mardi Gras 2020 is ‘What Matters,’ which Dopper says is all about “stopping as a community and checking in on everybody.”

Dopper said that since the same-sex marriage plebiscite of 2017, “everybody has been splintering off, and there’s still things still matter to us. Whether it’s trans rights, family values, the religious freedom bill.”

“‘What Matters’ is about saying, ‘hold on, we need you to tell us what matters to you.’ It’s your turn to stand up.”

“It’s about having that legacy of where we’ve come from, and looking after that, but thinking about the organisation in a monumental way. How are we going to move this organisation forward, connect to young people, connect to young voices that may not necessarily feel represented currently.”

During our chat with Dopper, she also spoke about how Mardi Gras has changed over the years, all of the incredible events happening during the festival, how to feel included in the festival if you’re an introverted member of the LGBTQIA community, how to be a good ally and how Mardi Gras – and individuals – can help people around Australia all year round. 

Mardi Gras 2020 which is running from February 14th to March 1st, and head to the official website to get involved.

A Celebration Of Lewis Capaldi's Glorious Looseness

His BRIT Awards acceptance speech was priceless.

Today, Lewis Capaldi scooped up the BRIT Awards for Best New Artist and Best British Single with ‘Someone You Loved,’ and his acceptance speech was memorable, to say the least.

During Capaldi’s speech, which was heavily bleeped, the hitmaker said, “Hello, my name is Lewis, thanks very much for this.”

Speaking about ‘Someone You Loved’ with a drink in hand, he said, “Contrary to popular belief, a lot of people think this song is about my ex-girlfriend who you can see every night on Love Island,” referring to current contestant Paige Turley.

Listen to our open love letter to Lewis Capaldi on the latest ep of It’s Been A Big Day For…below:

“[The song] is actually about my grandma,” he said. “I hope Love Island doesn’t contact her to be on the show… Thanks to my grandma for… dying? I’m sorry!”

Capaldi’s acceptance speech had us in stitches, but it’s not the first time he’s won us over by being gloriously loose.

At this year’s Grammys, Lewis Capaldi was asked  “Where do you think you’re headed after such a massive hit?” He replied by singing “it’s all downhill from here” and later likened winning a Grammy to eating a satisfying chicken parm.

“You know what?” he said. “If I could describe it, it’s like… imagine, right, eating a whole chicken parm. Imagine eating a whole chicken parmesan. Lying down. What’s on TV? Game of Thrones. Before it was finished.”

“You’re lying there. Your belly’s bloated. The TV’s on. And you’re thinking, ‘You know what? This is the life,’” he said. “You’re not thinking about going to the bathroom later – which will not be pretty after the chicken parm – but you’re lying there and thinking, ‘You know what, this is it.’ And that’s how I feel. I feel like a big bloated boy watching Game of Thrones.

The cherry on top of an already enchanting cake was when Capaldi tweeted that he’d been mixed up for seat filler at the awards show. 

Honestly, we do not deserve this Scottish larrikin and we need to protect him at all costs. 

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

We Asked Neil deGrasse Tyson Why Space Makes Us Feel So Small

Consider our minds officially blown.

Do you ever think about the sheer size and scale of the universe and feel incredibly small? Just look at the Pale Blue Dot photo of us taken from 6 billion kilometres away. Not only is it incredibly overwhelming how tiny are are in the grand scheme of the universe, but it’s enough to give even the chillest Earth dweller a little anxiety.

So, instead of basking in our existential angst, we thought it’d be best to chat to a few people who actually know what they’re talking about. Astrophysicist, author and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer, producer, and director Ann Druyan stopped by to lend their scientific expertise – and sassy hot takes – to the latest episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

Listen to our chat with Neil and Ann below:

When asked about what aspect of space blows their minds most, Tyson responded, “However far we boast of having reached, [the Earth] is so small compared to the size of the galaxy.”

Druyan chimed in to agree, saying, “What blows my mind, is to be so small, but to ask such big questions.” 

Neil deGrasse Tyson & Anne Druyan. Credit: Jerome Domine/ABACAPRESS.COM.

Despite technically being as small as we feel, Tyson said everything in the universe is made up of the same ingredients. “On Earth we have this urge as humans to want to feel special. When you look at the universe, and you see the ingredients, it’s the same ingredients that are in our bodies – the hydrogen, the oxygen, carbon, nitrogen – the most common ingredients in the universe, are the most common ingredients in life on Earth.”

“The idea that we are special, I think should be rethought,” he said. “Maybe, we’re special not because we’re different, but because we’re the same.”

Mind, BLOWN.

During our chat with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan, we also spoke about why science isn’t about having our biases and projections confirmed, the idea that if we were all scientists, war might not exist, searching for truth in an era of fake news, how scientists (and aliens) are depicted in pop culture, and finding ease in the cosmos.

Speaking of the cosmos, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson and executive produced by Ann Druyan premieres on March 9th on National Geographic.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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