2022 has been an opportunity for many people to return to a “new normal” and remain connected to the people, causes and community events that matter. That’s why the theme for this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, “United We Shine” – is so fitting as it reflects how communities are stronger when we work together, just as the rainbow community is working together to rebuild and restore vibrancy.
Everyday the LGBTQI+ community come to our platforms to create connections, share support and adapt their businesses. Since 2016, we’ve been a major partner with Mardi Gras and this year we wanted to make sure we had a real impact to help the community rebuild. That’s why we chose to focus on investing in the community to support economic recovery, ensure people had the tools to keep themselves safe on our apps and allow people and Creators to celebrate their authentic selves online, including a brand new Pride AR filter designed specifically for Mardi Gras 2022.
Investing in our communities, and building resilience
This year saw the return of the Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Events Grants, which awarded 30 venues across Australia a share in $100,000 to host a viewing party of the Mardi Gras on the 5th March, 2022. We continued the grants program in 2022, after the success of the program in 2021 generated economic impact for communities well beyond the grant investment. This included over $300,000 in revenue across 30 venues, which attracted over 7000 attendees. More than 220 staff were employed to run the Mardi Gras Parade viewing events, and over 200 performers and artists were employed as a result of the grants program. We look forward to seeing the continued impact of this fund this year.
In addition to the grants, we’ve also partnered with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association (SGLBA) this year to bring hope with our Boost with Facebook to LGBTQI+ business owners. The free, in-person digital skills event takes place on Wednesday 23rd March and will offer participants training on how to use digital tools to help their business adapt and thrive online. To register for this event visit australia.fb.com/boost.
Protecting our LGBTQI+ youth online
This year we continued our partnerships with Black Rainbow, Trans Pride Australia, ACON, Twenty10, and Minus18 to update the Safe and Strong 2022 with new safety products and updated information from community organisations. The guide also features inspiration from local queer creators including @itsbybrandon, @ajclementine_ and @jjzandt.
Through resources like this guide, we want to encourage young people (particularly LGBTQI+ youth), to protect their online space, own their feed, manage their time spent and be empowered to have a positive online experience.
Celebrate Mardi Gras with our pride features
For the first time we’re introducing a new Pride AR filter on Instagram designed by Sydney based artist Kim Leutwyler aka @carlosbob. We partnered with Kim to design this filter because of her gorgeous work that celebrates LGBTQ+ identified and allied people. The new Pride AR filter includes colour schemes which allow people to honour the LGBTQI+, Trans, Bi+, Ace and Non-binary communities, and share their support online. You can access the Pride AR filter at @instagramnextau; @sydneymardigras; @carlosbob.
Also returning this year are the rainbow hashtags, transforming over 70 hashtags into colourful beacons throughout your feed. Use one of these hashtags in your Stories, or post one of our featured Pride stickers, to activate a rainbow story ring.