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Sexual Tourism and the Excitement of the Strange: Heterosexuality and the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade

Sexualities, Vol.2, No. 1, pp. 97-121, 2009

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/25

26 Pages Posted: 5 May 2009  

Gail Mason

The University of Sydney Law School

Gary Lo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: May 5, 2009

Abstract

The Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras parade is one of the largest public celebrations of queer sexuality in the world today. This article seeks to understand the attraction of the Mardi Gras parade for heterosexual spectators who feel ambivalent or negative towards homosexuality. Drawing upon the concepts of 'the stranger' and 'the tourist' we suggest that the parade has several liminoid features that enable these spectators to momentarily suspend sexual norms that would otherwise inhibit them from attending. In this way, the parade provides an almost ideal opportunity for the ambivalent sexual tourist to experience the pleasure of the strange.

Keywords: sexuality, homophobia, violence

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Mason, Gail and Lo, Gary, Sexual Tourism and the Excitement of the Strange: Heterosexuality and the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade (May 5, 2009). Sexualities, Vol.2, No. 1, pp. 97-121, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1399245

Gail F. Mason (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Gary Lo

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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