TikTok Inc.

02/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/07/2021 14:33

We're celebrating our amazing Australian LGBQTIA+ community at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and we want fabulous YOU to #JoinOurFloat! 🌈

It's no secret that the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is a celebration that is world renowned. Those who've watched, marched or partied during Mardi Gras over the past 43 years, know it's a month of love, freedom of expression, wild creativity and joy. TikTok is also one of the strongest online LGBQTIA+ communities you'll find.

Our community tells us that TikTok is a place of authentic self expression, online support and refuge for ourLGBQTIA+ community, where our creators share raw feelings, honest experiences, find inspiration and celebration, and cheer each other on.

It's finally time for these two worlds to collide...

We're excited to announce that we'll be marking our official debut as a partner of The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021 with a month long celebration. Our 2021 Mardi Gras program is a fun and informative line-up of TikTok and real-world happenings that aim to bring positivity and joy. We're also shining a spotlight on some of our LGBTQIA+ trailblazers on TikTok - the funniest, bravest, most fabulous and inspiring Australian creators.

This year's Mardi Gras theme is 'RISE' and we're asking YOU, our TikTok community, to rise to the challenge of learning our official TikTok Mardi Gras #JoinOurFloat dance, as we welcome you to our global #pridetribe.

Lee Hunter, General Manager, TikTok Australia and New Zealand said, 'TikTok celebrates our incredibly diverse community and like the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, we're committed to elevating LGBTQIA+ voices and providing an open, inclusive platform where people can show up as their true selves. We're excited to be marching in the official event, and in the spirit of inclusiveness, giving the wider Australian community the chance to #JoinOurFloat and become a part of Mardi Gras, wherever you are. To our LGBTQIA+ community, we see you, we hear you, and we celebrate you.'

Here's everything you need to know to join in Mardi Gras celebrations with TikTok this year

Hashtag Challenge

#JoinOurFloat- To kick off the Mardi Gras fun, we've launched an extra special Hashtag Challenge

Challenge. The Soundtrack? 'Queen' {Pride Remix}by ARIA-Award nominated musician and queer icon, G Flip, that drops exclusively on TikTok first. G Flip called on Sydney synth-king Touch Sensitive to pump up the original with some funky bass and get 'Queen' dancefloor-ready. The dance routine? Created by one of Australia's best choreographers, the inimitable Leah Howard, star of Aladdin, Frozen. Your moves? Totally up to you. Post a video that captures the colour and fun of Mardi Gras. That's right - express yourself! We've even slid in a special 'RAINBOW Queen' Mardi Gras creative effect to help sass up your videos. You're welcome.

@tiktok_australia

##joinourfloat at Mardi Gras 2021! ##pridetribe @tomi.queen @kevininthecity @lawrence_bing @mitchell_coombs @emmahorn @meissa.com.au

♬ original sound - TikTok Australia

Big screen, baby! - Wish you could be a part of all the exhilarating parade action? You can! Australians everywhere, and even members of our global community, will have the opportunity to virtually join what might just be Mardi Gras' biggest ever float.Taking you from online to offline - we'll select the our fave #JoinOurFloat videos to be broadcast on giant rolling screens - our fabulous float marching dancers will hold you aloft with pride during the parade, at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on March 6. We hope to see everyone in our passionate community 'rise' to the challenge, and channel those empowering pride vibes.

Flipping out at the SCG - Mardi Gras parade night

We have a float (oh yeah, do we have a FLOAT!) - Our 'Queen' GFlip will be TikTok's performance headliner on Mardi Gras parade night, waving from her hot pink throne as we lap the SCG, before she asecends to the stage for a show-stopping, three-minute performance of Queen {Pride remix}. G Flip is pretty stoked, she told us: 'I am SO extremely excited! I attended Mardi Gras for the first time last year and it was one of the most invigorating, exhilarating and liberating experiences of my entire life. Growing up, LGBTQIA+ content was never pushed to the front of media, so being a part of this campaign warms my heart and I know it will inspire our queer youth to be their authentic selves. I can't wait to see everyone's content!'

Whose flying the flag on ground? - Some of our our stellar LGBQTIA+ creators will be marching in the parade as our Mardi Gras ambassadors, joining GFlip in fabulous finery. Leading the charge are five creators whose ambition, confidence, creativity, bravery and humour have scored them millions of likes and follows. @kevininthecity, @mitchell_coombs, @lawrence_bing, @Meissa.com.au and @emmahorn will be the friendly faces you see smiling up at the crowd, and popping up on TikTok, leading the charge on our #JoinOurFloat challenge and helping us celebrate this amazing community.

LIVE on TikTok

TikTok LIVE on parade week - We know how much you guys love LIVE on TikTok. It's going to be glamourous, it's going to be enlightening and its all going down on parade week. You'll get to meet some of our LGBTQI+ creators, who will discuss what matters to this community. TikTok superstar @lawrence_bing will chat transvisibility on TikTok, reflect on the history of Sydney's Mardi Gras event and give kudos to the pioneers who began it, and share his favourite Mardi Gras memes. Internationally acclaimed drag legend @courtneyact will be MC, we'll have @emmahorn and @louis.hanson as our roving reporters (with plenty of chats about their own glow ups), a performance from G Flip, games, dancing, and more. Tune in at 7pm on Wednesday 3 March, @TikTok_Australia

G Flip LIVE at Mardi Gras - We'll be bringing you G Flip LIVE during her star performance on our TikTok float, giving Australia and the world every opportunity not to miss out on this incredible show. Tune in via G Flip's account @gflipmusicon Saturday 6 March, for a LIVE stream from her throne, with a parade's-eye view .

Who to follow this Pride

Our Mardi Gras ambassadors!

@mitchell_coombs is a TikTok veteran and loves that this is a place that rewards 'raw and real content', says Coombs: 'It's awesome to have such a big mainstream platform like TikTok onboard at Mardi Gras. It tells the world that TikTok is an inclusive place. TikTok's all about authenticity, substance and being yourself. Due to restrictions, I'm sure there's plenty of people who won't be able to be there on the ground at Mardi Gras this year - our hashtag challenge is a fun way to get in the spirit of things, no matter where you are. To be honest, I can't dance to save my life, so if I can give it a crack, anyone can!'

@mitchell_coombs

I'm here to represent dags that can't dance. But it's #MARDIGRAS b*tch, try stop me from dancing️‍ #JoinOurFloat#PrideTribe#Sydney#Queer

♬ Queen {Pride Remix} - G Flip & Touch Sensitive

@kevininthecitybrings visual empowerment to our community with his creative and inspirational glitter beards and concept videos. Kevin has had many people reach out to him on the platform, sharing that he has inspired them to be fearless and embrace who they are, making him a natural leader for our parade float and Hashtag Challenge. Shares Kevin on his role with TikTok at Mardi Gras: 'My content makes people feel comfortable, I think, and that's why I really love it. I'm never going to be a front-line activist, that's not my kind of activism. Instead, I want to be a visual representatation for the queer community - fun, out there, proud, making it easier for other people on TikTok that want to experiment with wild looks, that want to wear wigs and makeup or just want to be themselves. It's been life-changing for me to have videos go viral on TikTok, I am able to connect with more of my people, who reach out with their stories of coming out, and feeling more confident to express their true identity, after they see my content. What more could I want?'

@emmahornis a triple threat! Gorgeous model, talented actress and an avid TikTok creator whose videos inspire us and make us giggle. She shares of her experience as part of the LGBQTIA+ Tik Tok community: 'I think a lot of young people feel they have a safe place to be themselves now, and feel celebrated! I make content for people, I don't do it for myself. If LGBQTIA+ people see my content and it makes them feel good about themselves, laugh or feel they have someone to relate to - then I'm happy. ️ I'm proud to be a part of anything that promotes people being their true selves.'

@emmahorn

When there's a fan blowing - we dance where are my GAY queens and allies at?!!!️‍ #joinourfloat#lgbtq#gay#pridetribe#newdance

♬ Queen {Pride Remix} - G Flip & Touch Sensitive

@lawrence_bing - Our ultimate youth role model, transgender Lawrence is stylish, brave (sharing his FTM journey online over the years) and the king of lip sync (have you seen his Camila Cabello sync? OMG). It's incredible to see how much he's created and inspired others at only 21 years old. 'Having other creators in the LGBTQIA+ Community, such as myself, on TikTok, not only makes it a safer place for others, but is a warm welcome for viewers to be themselves. The platform provides a place to create friendships, and receive the advice and education you need. Having TikTok get involved with Mardi Gras this year will empower, inspire and motivate so many - I'm hoping this event also brings awareness and knowledge of LGBTQIA+ people to those who maybe questioning themselves, and opens up our world to people who wish to learn more about our welcoming, LGBTQIA+ community.'

@lawrence_bing

Calling All Lgbtq+ People & Allies ️‍ Let's Dance Together #joinourfloat#pridetribe#lgbtqia#transgender ️‍⚧️

♬ Queen {Pride Remix} - G Flip & Touch Sensitive

@Meissa.com.au - Meissa Mason is a law student, an artist and a proud Wiradjuri, Gomeroi and Awabakal woman. She uses her TikTok account for her social activism work, keeping us educated, getting us involved in what's important and inspiring us to take action. Says Meissa, 'TikTok has really given me an opportunity to connect with the LGBQTIA+ community in ways I'd never imagined. I have made so many LGBQTIA+ friends and mutuals through TikTok who truly make me feel confident and supported in who I am. I actually felt so supported that I came out on TikTok last year, before anywhere else. It was the place I felt most comfortable to be my true self through connecting with others part of the community. Having a platform like TikTok where it's so easy to connect with others, be inspired, build a community and feel supported is so, so important for all LGBQTIA+ people but particularly LGBQTIA+ youth. And I think our Hashtag Challenge for Mardi Gras is a great way to promote this connection among community, especially as Mardi Gras is super limited this year due to COVID.'

@meissa.com.au

Whether you're part of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, this dance is open for everyone! #JoinUs!! #joinourfloat#lgbtq#lgbtqia#bisexual#queer

♬ Queen {Pride Remix} - G Flip & Touch Sensitive

We're committed to elevating and amplifying LGBTQIA+ voices because we believe they are making a positive impact on TikTok and in their broader communities. We're excited to be have created an uplifting program, both on and off TikTok, to celebrate the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with you in 2021.