Detail in WorldPride mural sparks anger: 'A disgrace'
The WorldPride mural at Sydney's busiest city bus station has turned heads with many thinking the artwork is inappropriate for a public audience.
A recently painted mural at one of Sydney's busiest bus stations has received backlash with people saying it projects "creepy" themes.
The completed mural was spotted last week outside Wynyard Station and was launched in celebration of the ongoing WorldPride festival, with the city hosting the internationally renowned event which runs in conjunction with Mardi Gras.
The image on a wall in Wynyard Street depicts a man lounging mostly naked on a couch, apart from donning a chest harness and helmet which looks like a teddy bear. A rainbow flag is draped under his body and he appears to be holding a beer in his left hand.
YCK Laneways, an association of entertainment and hospitality businesses, created the mural and revealed the finished wall art on its Instagram account, but immediately faced scrutiny online as many questioned why the bondage accessory was paired with imagery often associated with children.
"Whose idea was it to pair a teddy bear with BDSM for a public audience? This is creepy," one woman said.
"What a disgrace!" another wrote.
The recent mural is reminiscent of luxury fashion brand Balenciaga's infamous ad campaign from last year, which saw child models pose with teddy bear bags in bondage gear, with the public and many celebrities condemning the decision before the company pulled the ad and issued an apology.
Despite the backlash, the mural is reportedly set to stay until March 5.
Kinks and BDSM play a vital role in queer history
With homosexuality only legalised in every Australian state and territory in 1997, the queer community often lived their lives in secret in fear of being harmed. Many adopted clever ways to subtly communicate their sexuality to others in the community by using a method known as flagging, which saw them wearing different coloured handkerchiefs on different areas of the body to communicate their preferences.
As homosexuality and kinks were both deemed morally wrong by a society less progressive than the one we celebrate now, the queer community decided to champion BDSM as a way of turning the stigma on its head.
Scottie Marsh, the artist of the controversial mural, defended his design online by sharing the Urban Dictionary definition of 'bear' as used by the queer community.
"A term used by gay men to describe a husky, large man with a lot of body hair," the photo read.
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Yahoo News Australia has reached out to City of Sydney Council for comment on the mural.
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