Getting Glittery With Unicorns

Following the past weekend’s Mardi Gras antics we caught up with Unicorns organiser & sparkle queen Delsi Moleta. It was the first time that Unicorns had hosted an event at Sydney Mardi Gras, and holy bananas, Batman, were we impressed. Free love vibes radiated throughout the Imperial Hotel, while partygoers shimmered and shimmied in a sea of body paint and glitter. There were weddings, there were performances, there was a kissing booth (and many kisses!). We got the down low on the inception of Unicorns, Delsi’s supergirl repertoire, plus an important message from Delsi to the Australian government.

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

How was Unicorns born?

Unicorns started 4 years ago when I wanted to create a party that was inclusive of all sparkly LGBTQIA+ people. As a queer women who didn’t identify as strictly ‘gay’ I struggled to find a space where I felt at home. I also had lots of concern for my trans and GNC (Gender Non-Conforming) friends who didn’t have many spaces where they felt 100% comfortable.

I wanted to develop a space where we could all come together and celebrate how beautiful our community is. A space where a person could identify as anything, where your gender and sexuality could fluctuate and never be questioned. I wanted to create a place that felt like as soon as you stepped into it you were in a super queer version of heaven, where we could express ourselves freely; whether that meant running around half naked covered in body paint, throwing on your fave snapback or donning a leather ensemble.

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

When I first started working in events I was running music and art parties for a company called The Festivalists. I was programming this amazing party at The Australian Museum called Jurassic Lounge. I had helped to create a magical event but I wanted to take these ideas and transfer it into something more queer and accessible. So I used all my skills from years in event management to develop the space I had always wanted to be a part of.

I have also always had a strong passion for performing arts so I also wanted to create a platform to showcase the vast amount of queer, talented performers within our world. I also wanted to create line ups that reflected the diversity within our community. I then threw together a few kilos of glitter, sparkly themes and lineups that were packed with artists across a myriad of fields. I was so excited when so many amazing people appeared at the first event who were looking for the same inclusivity, sparkly home that I was also searching for.

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

Describe Unicorns in 3 words.

Sparkles. Love. Queer.

Is there a Unicorns postergirl/boy/person?

Ohh that’s a hard one. I suppose as the creator, the event is a reflection of my views, feelings and aesthetic. A friend once described the type of person that enjoys Unicorns well when they wrote: “Consider Unicorns your really cute, cool alternative friend who changes their hair colour every couple of months, is in a 3 piece electro trash grunge band, does pole dancing lessons for exercise and majored in gender studies.” (Diana Marie)

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

Organising your own events must be so rewarding, especially when it comes to witnessing people comfortably being themselves and making new connections in a supportive community. Is there one particular memorable moment that comes to mind?

My favourite part of the night is standing on the stage during the dance competition or weddings and seeing everyone smiling, cheering and sparkling in the light.

Probably my happiest specific moment occurred at our Mardi Party on the weekend. I have been working on making the event even more accessible and I had employed an Auslan Interpreter. And I found out this morning that four people from the deaf community were in the audience and they had a wonderful time and partied till close.

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

Do you think that there is an issue with the lack of all-inclusive LGBTQIA+ friendly events in Australia?

There is definitely still a lot of segregation in the LGBTQIA+ community and I would love to see more all inclusive events pop up, particularly because often events are separated into ‘cis men’ and ‘cis women’ categories, so if you are non-binary, trans, bi, pan etc. these spaces don’t always feel comfortable.

A lot more work needs to be done to ensure all members of the LGBTQIA+ community have space to come together and celebrate how wonderful they are. This also needs to stretch out to include intersectional communities like people of colour. Hopefully more spaces are starting to think more consciously about the needs of intersectional communities and accessibility.

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

You are a whirlwind of a woman! Apart from running the Unicorns events you are also a high school teacher, Safe Schools representative and host a radio show on Joy 94.9 called ‘Unicorn Youth’. Were you always so passionate about promoting safe spaces within the queer community?

I had a bit of a late coming out and only really found my queerness once I moved from Canberra to Sydney at 23. As I struggled to find my space, I then found my passion for developing all inclusive, super friendly and welcoming queer spaces.

Once I became a school teacher and started hearing young people express their needs in terms of education surrounding queer life/identity, I then became passionate about giving young people a voice. I pitched the show to Joy 94.9 around the same time as the issues with Safe Schools were occurring. I felt really frustrated about the dialogue at this time and I felt like no one was actually listening to the needs and wants of LGBQTIA+ youth. So I thought what better way to give young LGBTQIA+ people a voice than starting a radio show that does just that.

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

Despite Mardi Gras in Sydney being one of the largest celebrations of LGBTQIA+ love in the world, gay marriage is still not legal in Australia. Is there anything you would like to say to the Australian Government?

Your lack of acceptance and inclusion is having a huge impact on so many lives. If you care about mental health, young people and the general well being of many people within your country, you need to address issues in relation to equality really quickly. Enough is enough.

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

What does Unicorns have in store for the future?

So much! I have lined up more events than ever before this year! I have also made this year a goal to collaborate with more organisations that are doing sparkly things within the community. I am also super keen to start a queer underage event for all the Unicorn Youth-ers. Keep your eyes peeled <3 🙂

Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson
Unicorns Mardi Gras shot by Campbell Henderson

Stay up to date with more Unicorns events on their Facebook page.

Interview by Sara Nicolette, photos by Campbell Henderson

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