The glitziest, gaudiest night of the year is nearly here: the annual Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.
10 News First presenter Narelda Jacobs and comedian Joel Creasey will be hosting the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade 2019 on SBS on Sunday.
TV WEEK speaks to SBS host Joel, Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu, as well as the stars of the Neighbours same-sex marriage storyline in 2018, Matt Wilson and Takaya Honda.
In June 1978, 53 members of the LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) community were harassed, arrested and publicly outed for marching in the first Sydney Mardi Gras parade.
More than 120 people were arrested for protesting in the following months. Now, 41 years (and one momentous performance from Cher in 2018) later and the annual parade is an unmissable spectacle.
"We've embraced the theme fearless: the fearless community and its fearless history," Terese tells TV WEEK. "It's a celebration of difference, diversity, human rights and social justice."
Narelda says it's a 'privilege' to be part of the historic event.
"It's a huge privilege to host such an important event. As always, I'm humbled by the courageous attitude of our community, who show the world what resilience and love looks like every day."
As much as the celebration is about visibility for the community, it's also about the flashy floats, world-famous performers and dazzling ensembles.
"You'll see cultural and age diversity, and more creativity," Terese says. "People aren't marching just in T-shirts anymore."
Joel says he's excited to be back in his hosting role.
"I love it!" he tells TV WEEK. "I'd probably go anyway, and it's such a presitigous gig. I get to sit in Taylor Square and watch the parade! It's so exciting."
This year's parade will be extra-special for fans of Neighbours, which in 2018 was the first Aussie soap to air a same-sex wedding — between Aaron (Matt Wilson) and David (Takaya Honda).
The cast and crew will proudly march to mark the occasion.
"We've worked on many storylines based around inclusivity and equality," Matt, 30, shares. "Mardi Gras is the ultimate celebration of just that."
Takaya, 31, adds, "I couldn't think of a better partnership than this one. I'm truly happy to celebrate our small contribution to the biggest party of the year."
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade 2019 live streams Saturday March 2, 7pm on SBS On Demand, and airs Sunday, March 3, 8:35pm on SBS.